At least ten people, including children, lost their lives in what is believed to be Jordanian air strikes in the town of Arman in Suweida province, southwestern Syria.
The strikes reportedly occurred early on Thursday, targeting residential areas and resulting in the destruction of several homes, leaving families shattered and communities in mourning.
Local activists and media outlets have been swift to report on the incident, with the Suwayda 24 news website playing a pivotal role in documenting the aftermath.
According to eyewitnesses, two men, identified as Omar Talab and Turki al-Halabi, bore the brunt of the strikes, losing their lives along with family members.
The toll includes Mr. Talab, his mother, his aunt, and seven members of Mr. Halabi’s family, including his wife and two young daughters.
Tragically, Mr Halabi and his mother were reportedly trapped beneath the debris of their collapsed home, presumed dead.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, condemned the incident as a “massacre,” revealing that at least nine people were killed in Arman, including five women and two children.
A sixth woman was reported to be trapped beneath the rubble. This marks the third instance this year in which Jordanian warplanes are accused of violating Syrian territory, according to the Observatory.
While there has been no immediate comment from Jordanian authorities, the backdrop to these air strikes is rooted in the country’s ongoing battle against drug smuggling, particularly the trafficking of the amphetamine Captagon.
Jordan and its Western allies contend that well-organized and heavily armed Iran-backed militias operating in government-controlled areas of Syria are responsible for a surge in smuggling activities into the kingdom.
The Suwayda 24 news website sheds light on a potential pattern, suggesting that Jordanian forces are intensifying their efforts against drug dealers by targeting farms suspected of storing narcotics before they are smuggled across the border.
In previous incidents, strikes have hit houses, farms, and barns suspected to be associated with drug trafficking.
The recent escalation culminated in these devastating air strikes in Arman, leaving families torn apart and a community in shock.
The strike on the town reportedly destroyed the houses of Omar Talab and Turki al-Halabi, amplifying the humanitarian toll of the conflict.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the strikes also targeted a damaged warehouse and a nearby house in Malah, although no casualties were said in that location.
The international community is likely to scrutinize the situation, with calls for an investigation into the alleged violations of Syrian territory by Jordanian warplanes.
The ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Syria have created a complex and volatile environment, with various actors pursuing their interests within the broader context of regional tensions.
As the news of this tragic incident unfolds, questions will undoubtedly be raised about the proportionality and legality of the air strikes, especially considering the civilian casualties, including women and children.
The Syrian people continue to endure the consequences of a multifaceted conflict, where the lines between combatants and civilians often blur, resulting in profound human suffering.
The situation also highlights the broader challenge of combating drug trafficking in the region, with Jordan and its allies grappling with the influx of narcotics, particularly Captagon, which commands a high demand in Gulf Arab states.
The intersection of geopolitical tensions, regional conflicts, and the illicit drug trade underscores the complexity of the challenges faced by nations in the Middle East.
In the wake of this tragedy, the affected families, the town of Arman, and the broader international community mourn the loss of innocent lives.
The incident serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for diplomatic solutions and international cooperation to address the root causes of conflicts in the region and mitigate the devastating impact on civilian populations.
This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members