Jordan foils plot to smuggle terrorists, weapons along Syria border
The photo shows militants standing guard on the Syrian side of the Nasib border crossing between Jordan and Syria on October 5, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Islam Times - The Jordanian army says it has foiled a plot for smuggling weapons, narcotics and terrorists through an abandoned oil pipeline along its border with Syria.
"The Jordanian armed forces were able ... to thwart a plan to smuggle weapons, drugs and terrorists," the army said in a statement on Saturday.
"A group of terrorists and drug traffickers" had used a house near the border and the disused Trans-Arabian Pipeline (Tapline) to "dig and prepare a series of tunnels for use in smuggling operations and to carry out terrorist attacks," the statement added.
Authorities have ordered the destruction of the tunnels and had the pipeline unearthed in an attempt to prevent other "smugglers and terrorists" from using it, the army said.
The 1,200-kilometer Tapline was built in 1950 and used to transport Saudi oil through Jordan and Syria's Golan Heights onto Lebanon and the Mediterranean, but transit through the pipeline stopped in 1981 following the Lebanese civil war.
Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis in 2011, there have been numerous reports about extremist militants in Syria being trained in secret camps inside the Jordanian territory.
Daesh terrorists were reportedly among the militants initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government.
Jordan shares a desert border of more than 370 kilometers with Syria and says it is hosting 1.3 million Syrian refugees.
Jordan’s geographical characteristics, including its Tanf garrison in the southeastern Syrian desert, have grabbed Washington’s attention in its quest for an ideal logistics and supply hub.
Currently, there are hundreds of US Army trainers in Jordan. The US has also deployed batteries of its Patriot missile systems in the kingdom.
The Pentagon also plans to spend millions of dollars to perform an expansion and upgrade at Muwaffak Salti airbase located near the Syrian-Jordanian border.
Story Code: 705703