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      Jordan Foils Weapons Smuggling from Syria

      Weapons and ammunition were seized in Jordan’s northern border near Syria, along with the people who tried to smuggle them.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 8/2/2013, 6:13 AM

      Soldiers patrol Jordanian border
      Soldiers patrol Jordanian border
      Israel news photo: IDF spokesmen

      A large amount of weapons and ammunition were seized in Jordan’s northern border near Syria, the Jordanian Armed Forces said in an official statement which aired on the country’s official television station on Thursday.

      “Border guards on the northern frontier – near border city of Al-Ramtha – confiscated large quantities of weapons, ammunition and drugs,” the statement said, according to the Al Arabiya network.

      The Jordanian Armed Forces did not give further details on the type of weapons that were confiscated.

      The people attempting to smuggle these weapons were also arrested but their identities were kept anonymous as well, according to Al Arabiya.

      Since the civil war in Syria began in 2011, Jordan has been flooded with refugees from its neighbor. Officials estimated several weeks ago that the number of Syrian refugees at the Zaatari camp alone, which opened only a year ago and costs $1 million a day to run, stands at 115,000 -- 70 percent of them children and women.

      Angry refugees confronted U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a visit a few weeks ago to the Zaatari camp, demanding that Washington do more to end the war in Syria.

      In July, Jordan’s King Abdullah said the kingdom was ready to defend itself from any threat to its security from the conflict in neighboring Syria.

      Jordan has held joint military exercises with the United States and 17 other countries. Diplomats say the exercises were aimed to send a strong message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

      Prior to the exercises, the Pentagon confirmed that U.S. F-16 fighter jets and Patriot missile interceptors will remain in Jordan even after the exercises conclude.