Amman-

The frequent confrontations between the Jordanian armed forces on the one hand, and what Amman says are "military organizations, militias and drug smuggling groups" on the northern border on the other hand, put Jordanian-Syrian relations in danger.

This escalation comes months after Amman played a role with the US administration to mitigate the effects of the "Caesar Act" sanctions on the Syrian economy, and to reintegrate the Syrian regime with its Arab surroundings and return to the Arab League.

These confrontations also come months after the border crossings were opened with the Syrian side, allowing Syrian trucks to enter and leave Jordanian territory towards the Gulf states and Egypt, and facilitating the export of their goods.

Jordanian border guard vehicles roaming along the eastern Jordanian-Syrian border (Al-Jazeera)

What is the confrontation that Jordan is waging on its northern border with Syria?

According to a military source, Jordan is engaged in an open confrontation with groups of drug smugglers, backed by trained military forces, and uses advanced weapons, mechanisms and drones to monitor the borders.

Jordan accuses "dangerous Iranian organizations" and military militias of supporting smugglers, according to a security source.

The source says that the Kingdom is "fighting this war on behalf of the neighboring Arab countries and the world," especially with the arrival of drugs to Arab and European countries, specifically Italy;

Where the largest smuggling operation worth more than one billion dollars was seized in an Italian port, and there were reports of the arrival of these drugs to France and European countries.

This indicates - according to analysts - that the risk of manufacturing and smuggling these drugs crosses the border, which requires an Arab and international effort to help Jordan confront these manufactured and smuggled militias.

Political analyst Oraib Al-Rantawi says that diplomatic relations between Jordan and Syria are at their lowest levels (Al-Jazeera)

What is the future of relations between Amman and Damascus in light of the Jordanian talk about the lack of seriousness of the Syrian authorities in combating smugglers and the insecurity in the border areas?

After a decade of war in Syria and the inability of any party to resolve the conflict in it, Jordan sought to normalize its diplomatic relations with the Syrian regime, and Jordan's King Abdullah II led - according to analysts - vigorous diplomatic efforts with the United States and Arab countries to reintegrate it with its Arab environment and Syria's return to the League Arab countries, which was welcomed by Arab countries and rejected by other countries.

However, the case of the Syrian regime losing control of its southern borders, and Jordan's accusation of Syrian military forces - according to a military source - of colluding with smugglers and securing security coverage for them, and the participation of Syrian security stations in drug smuggling and threatening the security and stability of the Kingdom, would undermine its diplomatic efforts and push it further. of stress.

Political analyst Oraib Al-Rantawi says that Jordan does not direct accusations against Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian regime for smuggling operations and harming its security and stability. Rather, he refers to the Fourth Military Division led by Maher al-Assad, and the armed organizations affiliated with Iran, stressing that diplomatic relations between Jordan and the Syrian regime are at their lowest levels.

Al-Rantawi believes - in an interview with Al-Jazeera Net - that Jordan is heading towards militancy in its relations with the Syrian regime, for several reasons, the most important of which is the state of security chaos on the southern Syrian border, and "pressures that the US administration may have exercised during King Abdullah's recent visit to Washington and his meeting with President Joe Biden." To stop and reduce the level of political and economic relations with the Syrian regime.

And Jordan's tension was heightened by President Bashar al-Assad's visit to Tehran, the repositioning of Russian forces in southern Syria, and clashes with trained military formations seeking to smuggle huge quantities of drugs to flood the Jordanian, Saudi and Gulf markets.

And last October, the Syrian president made a call with King Abdullah II, the first after the outbreak of the conflict in Syria in 2011, during which the king stressed "Syria's sovereignty, stability, and the unity of its territories and people," according to a statement by the royal court at the time.

He also met the foreign ministers of Jordan and Syria at the United Nations to discuss relations between the two countries.


Will Jordan take escalatory steps by closing the border crossing and preventing the passage of Syrian trucks?

The state of Jordanian militancy in the political file and diplomatic relations is offset by a tightening of economic issues as well, most notably the opening of the border crossings between the two parties since the beginning of last September, after a closure that lasted for years due to the Syrian crisis.

According to the economic shop, Salama Al-Daraawi, "All economic options are open to Jordan to protect its borders, security and stability, including closing the Jaber Nassib border crossing between the two countries."

According to Al-Daraawi, who spoke to Al Jazeera Net, Jordan will not be affected much by closing the border with Syria, due to the low volume of trade exchange between the two countries, which amounts to 100 million dinars (140 million dollars) annually, and this exchange was limited to specific sectors due to the sanctions of the American Caesar Act, and the failure to provide The Syrian side has provided no assistance in solving Jordan's water problem during the past two years.

Jordan witnessed several meetings that brought together Syrian ministers with their Jordanian counterparts in Amman in the fields of energy, agriculture, industry, transportation and water to discuss economic cooperation between the two countries.

Jaber Nassib crossing between Jordan and Syria (Reuters)

What are Jordan's military options in the face of organizations on its borders?

With the intensification of smuggling operations and their taking organized forms with military protection, and the change in the nature of the armed organizations and militias’ clashes with the Jordanian army forces, the Kingdom took its decision to change the rules of engagement, which led to the killing of about 40 smugglers and the seizure of more than 20 million narcotic pills, hashish, weapons and ammunition.

In its plans to confront these organizations, the Jordanian Armed Forces depend - according to the military source - on "good preparation of the manpower that constitutes the main element in the state's strength, through high-level training programs and courses, and the use of technological programs and military manufacturing to confront drones, monitor them, track them and shoot them down, and prevent the other party to use it.

The topography of the 375-kilometer-long Jordanian-Syrian border areas poses a challenge to the armed forces, according to the source, especially as it changes from one region to another. The western and northern border areas are characterized by being mountainous, with volcanic rocks and rugged terrain, which leads to impeding the path of military vehicles there.

As for the eastern regions, they are desert and open and allow the movement of vehicles and the passage of smugglers, which requires more monitoring, follow-up and coordination with the American forces located on the eastern borders of the kingdom, according to the military source.

During the crisis, Jordan maintained the presence of the Chargé d'Affairs of the Syrian Embassy in Amman, and the Military Security Coordination Committee between the two countries, but Jordanian fears and security concerns on the northern border are increasing day by day with the strengthening of "dangerous Iranian organizations and militias loyal to them" - according to the sources - their presence there, In light of the sovereign vacuum of the Syrian state.

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