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Jordan Shoots Down Crystal Meth-laden Drone From Syria

A drone carrying crystal meth has been downed by Jordan’s military as it flew into Jordanian territory from neighbouring Syria, state news agency Petra reported.

Petra on Sunday quoted a source within the Jordanian armed forces as saying that the drone was “taken control of and downed”, and the crystal meth was handed over to the “competent authorities”.

The Jordanian military has previously downed drones from Syria carrying narcotics or weapons but has rarely identified seized drugs as crystal meth.

War-torn Syria has become a hub for a multibillion-dollar drugs trade, with Jordan a main transit route to the oil-rich Gulf states for a Syrian-made amphetamine known as Captagon, Western anti-narcotics officials say.

Military and security officials from Jordan and Syria have met to discuss ways to curb the growing smuggling problem. Despite pledges by Damascus, Jordan says it has not seen any real attempt to clamp down on the illicit trade.

There was no immediate comment from Syrian authorities. In an interview last week, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad denied Syria’s role in the drug trade, saying that ending narcotics smuggling was a common interest that Syria shares with Arab countries.

Al-Assad’s promise to crack down on drug trafficking paved the way for Syria’s re-entry into the Arab League last May after a 12-year ostracisation.

The Jordanian army announced in June that it had shot down three drones trying to cross from Syria into Jordan, including one loaded with weapons.