Jordanian officer dead after Syria border clash with gunmen

January 16, 2022 GMT

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan’s military said Sunday that an army officer was killed in a shootout with smugglers on the country’s northern border with Syria.

A Jordanian military website said Capt. Muhammad Yassin Musa al-Khudayrat was killed and three others were injured when a group of smugglers opened fire on border guards.

It said the attackers fled into neighboring Syria and “large quantities of narcotics were seized and transferred to the competent authorities.”

The Jordanian military said that it would “deal with all force and firmness with any infiltration or smuggling attempt to protect the borders and prevent those who try to tamper with Jordan’s national security.”

Jordan shares a long porous border with its northern neighbor, and is home to more than 650,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war that has raged for more than a decade.

In September, Syrian and Jordanian officials discussed border security after Syrian government forces captured rebel-held areas along the Jordanian frontier.

In October, Jordan’s King Abdullah II spoke with Syrian President Bashar Assad for the first time in a decade after the two countries reopened a key border crossing.