At the end of January 2022, the Jordanian army killed 27 Syrian drug smugglers in several drug smuggling incidents that occurred simultaneously. The elimination of these smugglers comes after a long period in which a kind of “highway” of drug smuggling was created, from Syria towards Jordan and from there to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states (in November 2021, we published a special report regarding the drug smuggling industry in southern Syria led by the radical Shiite axis elements).
Since the Jordanian army’s operation, we can detect a significant decrease in the volume of smuggling from Syria to Jordan while an absolute majority of the remaining smuggling attempts are thwarted by the Jordanian army. On February 18, the Jordanian army held a press conference and a tour of the border with Syria, boasting its success.
It seems that Jordanian change of policy enabling the use of live fire against the smugglers and changing its defense tactics are proving themselves at this stage. According to the information we have, in response to the tightening of border controls by the Jordanian army, it is possible that the elements of the Shiite Axis and the Syrian 4th Division engaged in drug smuggling are “holding their position” to reassess the circumstances. They began placing drug shipments in caves in mountainous areas of the Sweida region, waiting and rethinking new smuggling measures in the face of the new challenges.
As we already published in November 2021, Hezbollah and Division 4 officials have begun using drones to smuggle drugs into Jordan and have even begun examining options of constructing smuggling tunnels under the border. In our assessment, the use of drones will be greatly intensified in light of the new challenges posed by the Jordanian army. In addition, in our assessment, there is already an underground infrastructure used for smuggling, but the intention is to expand it, and it is only a matter of time.
The elements of the Shiite Axis and Division 4 will not easily give up such an economic and central income channel. The Jordanians must be prepared for this.
In all probability, Hezbollah uses and will use these smuggling infrastructures (Unit 133, for example) also for the purpose of smuggling weapons, which will end up in its terrorist infrastructure in Jordan, the Palestinian Authority (Judea and Samaria), and Israel.