Oman- With a solemn military funeral carried on the shoulders of comrades-in-arms and wrapped in the Jordanian flag, the Jordanian Armed Forces mourned – on Sunday – Officer Muhammad Yassin Al-Khudayrat, after his clash with smugglers coming from the Syrian side.
Yassin Al-Khudayrat, the father of the officer who left his parents, his wife and his four-year-old daughter Nagham – during his son’s funeral – said, “Mohammed was on leave from work for a week, but he cut short his leave on Thursday and hurriedly returned to his military barracks, to return to us a martyr shrouded in the national flag.”
An official source in the General Command of the Jordanian Armed Forces said yesterday, Sunday, that “a group of smugglers fired at the border guards at one of the northeastern border fronts, and the response was reciprocated and the rules of engagement were applied, which prompted the smugglers to flee into the Syrian depth.” The clash resulted in the death of Captain Muhammad Yassin Musa al-Khudayrat, and the injury of 3 individuals, who were evacuated to King Talal Military Hospital, and their health condition is being monitored.
smuggling and infiltration areas
The border areas between Jordan and Syria are witnessing an increasing activity in smuggling operations and infiltration attempts, which have increased in the last ten years due to the crisis in Jordan’s northern neighbor.
The length of the common border between the two countries is about 375 km. According to military analysts, the smugglers are developing their methods of work and inventing new methods of smuggling, as they are fighting what they describe as a daily war with the Jordanian border guards, which periodically announce the arrest or elimination of smugglers.
According to retired Major General Mahmoud Erdesat, the smugglers are permanently present on the Jordanian-Syrian borders, and he told Al Jazeera Net, “But unfortunately, their presence and the intensity of their work increased as the Syrian regime lost control of areas of the common border between the two countries.”
“In addition to the activity of terrorist groups, especially the remnants of ISIS, there are military groups that exploit smugglers to smuggle weapons, drugs and others, which imposes on the two sides more joint military coordination to secure protection and stability for the border areas,” Ardisat added.
Last September, the Chairman of the Jordanian Joint Chiefs of Staff, Major General Yousef Al-Hunaiti, received his counterpart in the Syrian regime, Ali Ayoub, in the capital, Amman. During the meeting, many issues of common interest were discussed, foremost of which was coordinating efforts to ensure the security of the common borders between the two countries, and the situation in the south. Syria, and joint efforts to confront cross-border smuggling, especially drug smuggling and “fighting terrorism”, and coordination is underway with the Russian side in this context, according to a previous statement by the Jordanian authorities.
Who are the smugglers?
From time to time, questions arise in Jordan about the parties that carry out continuous smuggling operations, and for whom?
Military and strategic analyst Rakez al-Zaarer answered this question, and told Al Jazeera Net: Who is smuggling “terrorist groups targeting Jordan’s security, and drug smugglers who take Jordan as a corridor state for Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.”
Al-Zaarir added to Al-Jazeera Net that the border areas with the Syrian side are long and extended, and there are vast deserts in which smugglers can move, especially with the lack of control of the Syrian regime forces over these areas.
The smugglers use the residents of the areas adjacent to the Jordanian border, who know how to move there. The smuggling operations include weapons, drugs, explosives, and others, which results in the border guards forces placing more emphasis on those areas through patrols, says Zaarir.
15 million pills
— Jordan Armed Forces (@ArmedForcesJO) January 16, 2022
The Directorate of Moral Guidance of the Jordanian Armed Forces revealed that 361 smuggling and infiltration operations had been thwarted across the Jordanian land borders during the past year 2021, in which the army thwarted the smuggling of large quantities of narcotic and prohibited substances.
In a report that reached Al Jazeera Net, the smuggling of the equivalent of 760 kilograms of hashish, 15 million different narcotic pills, about two thousand grams of “crystal drug powder”, and more than 10,000 kilograms of various narcotic substances were thwarted.
Quantities of prohibited weapons, ammunition, devices and equipment were seized, and the Royal Engineering Corps disposed of large quantities of various expired munitions, blind munitions, and various explosive materials left over from war, shooting and military exercises in the designated training areas.
Jordanian activists expressed their anger over the killing of the officer, Al-Khudayrat, and the continuation of confrontations between smugglers and the Jordanian army.
“While we were complaining about the cold and rain outside our homes, and while we were enjoying the warmth of our homes, the country’s seniors were on their way,” wrote Abdel Majid Hammouz on his Facebook account.
Facebook activist Ahmed Al-Tamimi also transmitted on his account part of the funeral of Al-Khudayrat.
The Jordanian army has a story in every Jordanian home, family, and clan, and stories that grandparents and fathers pass on to their grandchildren. Our army is a symbol of sacrifice, heroism and honor.
There is no Jordanian family or clan that did not provide its best sons, soldiers, martyrs and wounded in the battles of heroism and honor that the army fought.#jordan_okay
– Ramadan Al Rawashdeh (@ramadanrawashde) January 16, 2022
Ramadan Al-Rawashdeh tweeted on the hashtag #Martyr_Muhammad_Al-Khudayrat on Twitter, “The Jordanian army has a story in every Jordanian home, family and clan, and stories are passed on by grandparents and fathers to grandchildren, and our army is a title for sacrifice, heroism and honor. and the honor the army had.