Jordanian–Syrian border incidents during the Syrian Civil War

Jordanian border patrol outpost

Jordanian–Syrian border incidents during the Syrian Civil War refers to violent incidents on the Jordanian-Syrian border on the course of the Syrian Civil War.

The Raytheon defence company has provided the Jordanian Armed Forces with a high-tech security system (not a wall) stretching across the wide borders between the two countries.[1] The security system has enabled the Jordanian border patrol units to discover and deal with several border infiltrations.[2] The system detects the movement of militias before reaching Jordanian territory and the army issues warnings to the infiltrators and when the warnings go ignored, they are exterminated, according to established rules of engagement.[2]

Jordan says that drug smuggling attempts have increased by 3-fold since the start of the Syrian civil war.[3]


October 2012

2012 Jordanian–Syrian border incident
Part of Spillover of the Syrian Civil War
Date22 October 2012
LocationJordanian-Syrian border

Jordanian victory

  • All militants arrested or repelled
Jordan Jordanian Army Islamic militants
Jordanian border patrols units 13-16 militants
Casualties and losses
1 killed 1 wounded, all arrested (Jordanian official)
4 killed (unnamed Jordanian source)

The October 2012 Jordanian–Syrian border clash was an attack by armed men, claimed to be Islamic militants, to infiltrate Jordan from Syria during the Syrian civil war. One militant was severely injured and 4 were killed, the clash resulted in the death of one Jordanian soldier, the first Jordanian military personnel to be killed during the Syrian civil war.[4] 13 IS members involved were arrested while the rest retreated back to Syrian territory.[5]

16 April 2014

April 2014 Jordanian–Syrian border airstrike
Part of Syrian civil war

Jordan and Syria
Objective Destroy a convoy attempting to penetrate Jordan
Date 16 April 2014 (2014-04-16)
Executed by Royal Jordanian Air Force
Outcome Destruction of the convoy[6]
Casualties Unknown

On 16 April 2014, the Jordanian Air Force bombed a convoy of vehicles on the Syrian-Jordanian border.[6] Reportedly, the airstrike took place when the convoy attempted to penetrate the Jordanian border from Syria.[6]

Though Syrian involvement was proposed, a Syrian military official said the vehicles did not belong to the Syrian army.[6] A Jordanian security source said the targets appeared to have been Syrian rebels with machine guns mounted on civilian vehicles who were seeking refuge from fighting with government forces in southern Syria.[7]

23 January 2016

On 23 January, a total of 36 armed men tried to infiltrate the border and an engagement with Jordanian border patrol left 12 dead infiltrators while the rest retreated back into Syria. They were found to have 2 million drug pills. The spokesperson also stated that "Jordan will not tolerate any infiltration attempt and will strike with an iron fist to whoever tries to disrupt Jordanian national security".[8]

25 January 2016

On 25 January, two armed men tried to infiltrate the borders and were exterminated. They were found to have 2600 palm-sized bags of marijuana and 2.4 million Captagon pills.[9]

7 February 2016

On 7 February, two men exploited the foggy weather conditions and tried to infiltrate. They were exterminated, according to rules of engagement, according to the Jordan Armed Forces spokesperson. The spokesperson warned that anyone trying to infiltrate will face the same fate.[10]

24 February 2016

On 24 February, two vehicles exploited the foggy weather and attempted to infiltrate, an engagement with the border patrols left 1 dead and 6 injured which were taken into custody.[11]

21 June 2016

See also: Rukban

On the dawn of 21 June, a booby-trapped car exploded near a Jordanian Armed Forces outpost in the extreme north-eastern point of Rukban, a remote makeshift Syrian refugee camp. The attack left 6 dead and 14 injured Jordanian soldiers.[12][13] As a result of the incident, the Jordan-Syria border has been declared as a "closed military zone". Jordanian minister of foreign affairs Nasser Judeh said in a press conference "we don't need a hideous terrorist attack like this one to prove to the world the legitimacy of our security concerns".

The country has also stated that it will halt the expansion or construction of refugee camps.[14][15] Following the incident, delivery of humanitarian aid to the area was stopped due to increased security concerns.[16] Only one food delivery was allowed since the attack, however water delivery resumed two weeks following the incident.[17] As of September 2016, around 75,000 Syrian refugees are stranded in the Rukban area under extremely poor living conditions. Due to the lack of access to medical care and clean water, the spread of diseases has increased and as a result disease-related deaths.[18]

The United Nations consulted the Jordanian military to draft a $39 million humanitarian spending plan from September 2016 through to December 2016. The draft plan proposes relocating delivery distribution 6-7km north-west of the current area, 9km away from the Jordanian military base, with the hope to incentivise refugees to relocate away from the border.[16] This would go against international law principle of non-refoulement which forbids the expulsion of refugees to the place they're being persecuted from.[17] From the $39 million, the plan proposes 26$ million to help fund security infrastructure.[16]

11 July 2016

It was reported by various pro-Assad news outlets that Syrian Army officer Ali Mohammad Dib was shot and killed by a Jordanian border guard as the former was patrolling the Syrian-Jordanian border southeast of the Suwayda village of Anat, and that his Syrian colleagues then returned fire at the Jordanian guard across the border. Neither Syria’s state SANA news agency nor Jordan have made any mention of the alleged incident.[19][20]

9 August 2016

A vehicle that was trying to infiltrate into Jordan was destroyed by the Jordanian border guards while it was still in Syrian territory.[21]

27 October 2016

3 infiltrators were killed as they approached the Jordanian borders from Syria.[22]


A report by the Jordanian Armed Forces command revealed that during 2015, Border Guards patrols foiled 85 infiltration attempts involving 132 people. Infiltrating vehicles that did not meet engagement rules and were not exterminated, were found to have 1,473 pieces of various weapons, 6,659 bullets, 16,768,684 Captagon pills, 893,060 palm-sized sheets of marjiuana and 20,000 Tramadol pills. The drugs were later destroyed at an anti narcotics department in Amman.[23]

See also


  1. "Jordan awards Raytheon $18.6 million to expand border security".
  2. 1 2 "Border guards kill infiltrator on Syrian border". Jordan Times.
  3. "Border guards kill infiltrator on Syria border". Jordan Times.
  4. "Jordanian Soldier Killed in Syrian Border Clash". The New York Times. 23 October 2012.
  5. "Jordanian soldier killed in clash with militants on Syria border". 22 October 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "Jordanian jets strike vehicles on Syrian border". The Guardian. 16 April 2014.
  7. "Vehicles hit in Jordan air raid not Syria Army's". Arab News. 17 April 2014.
  8. "Army kills 12 infiltrators on Syria border". Jordan Times.
  9. "خبرني : نبض الشارع : حرس الحدود يقتل مهربيْن". Khaberni. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  11. "خبرني". Retrieved 2016-09-15.
  14. CNN, Jomana Karadsheh and Tim Hume. "Jordan shuts borders after deadly car bomb". CNN. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  15. "Jordan declares Syria and Iraq borders closed military zones". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  16. 1 2 3 Williams, Sara Elizabeth (7 October 2016). "The "buffer zone" plan for 70,000 stranded Syrian refugees". Irin News. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  17. 1 2 McNeil, Sam (1 October 2016). "Syrians refuse attempted relocation along Jordan border". Washington Post. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  18. "Syria-Jordan border: 75,000 refugees trapped in desert no man's land in dire conditions". Amnesty International. 15 September 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  19. Szakola, Albin. Jordan border guards killed Syria officer: pro-Assad outlets. Now. 2016-07-12
  20. Adra, Zen. Syrian Army officer killed near Jordanian borders. Al-Masdar News. 2016-07-11.
  23. "'Border Guards facilitated entry of 17,000 Syrian refugees last year'". Jordan Times.
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