Amman – Jordan’s army said Saturday it has foiled a plot to smuggle arms, drugs and “terrorists” through a disused oil pipeline along its border with Syria.
“The Jordanian armed forces were able… to thwart a plan to smuggle weapons, drugs and terrorists” through the pipeline, an official in the general command said in a statement.
“A group of terrorists and drug traffickers” had used a house near the Jordan-Syria border and the disused Trans-Arabian Pipeline (Tapline) to “dig and prepare a series of tunnels for use in smuggling operations and to carry out terrorist attacks”, the official said.
Authorities have ordered the destruction of the tunnels and instructed army engineering units to unearth the pipeline to prevent other “smugglers and terrorists” from using it.
Tapline used to transport Saudi oil through Jordan, Syria’s Golan Heights – parts of which have been occupied by Israel since 1967 – onto Lebanon and the Mediterranean.
The 1,200-kilometre pipeline was built in 1950 and links the Saudi oilfield of Abqaiq to the Mediterranean terminal of Zahrani, 40km south of Beirut.
Oil transport through Tapline to Lebanon stopped in 1981 because of the Lebanese civil war.