The army said the traffickers were supported by an armed group, adding that a preliminary search was conducted in the area, and large quantities of narcotics were found.

The Jordanian army has  reportedly seized large quantities of narcotics in other separate interventions that also left several people wounded.
The Jordanian army has reportedly seized large quantities of narcotics in other separate interventions that also left several people wounded. (Reuters)

Jordanian troops have killed at least 27 suspected smugglers as they tried to cross the border from Syria with large quantities of amphetamines during a snowstorm.

Others also carrying drugs fled back into Syria during the attempt, one of an increasing number of such incidents over the past year, the military said on Thursday.

Such attempts have led the army to toughen its rules of engagement with smugglers.

The military said that it "will strike with an iron fist and deal with force and firmness with any infiltration or smuggling attempts to protect the borders.”

The army has also found large quantities of drugs - most commonly an amphetamine known as Captagon - hidden in Syrian trucks passing through Jordan's main border crossing to the Gulf region.

READ MORE: Can Arab rapprochement with Syria help contain the regime’s narcostate?

Amphetamine market on the rise

An illegal drug industry has flourished in Syria after 10 years of civil war.

Captagon has a thriving market in the Gulf, and UN drug experts say Syria has become the region's main production site for drugs also destined for Jordan, Iraq and Europe.

A report on the Jordanian army's website said that it had thwarted several suspected attempts to smuggle drugs into Jordan from Syria.

The report added that large quantities of narcotics were sized in separate interventions that also left several people wounded.

Earlier this month, the military said an army officer was killed in a shootout with smugglers along the long porous border it shares with Syria.

Jordanian officials say Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah group and militias who control much of southern Syria are behind the surge in smuggling. Hezbollah denies the accusations.

The UN Office of Drugs and Crime said in a 2014 report that the amphetamine market is on the rise in the Middle East.

The report found that busts mostly took place in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria - accounting for more than 55 percent of amphetamines seized worldwide.

READ MORE: Record-breaking drug seizures point to pandemic narcotics boom

Source: TRTWorld and agencies