This post first appeared on Russia Insider
The New Eastern Outlook website has an extraordinary article up by the excellent French investigative reporter Jean Perier, exposing the massive arms sales that have been going on between Eastern European countries, including Ukraine, and ISIS.
Perier points out that a lot of these arms are of Soviet manufacture - in order to cover tracks, and are primarily coming out of places like Bulgaria, Ukraine, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Serbia, and other former East bloc nations.
He argues that the arms trade is so large, that in and of itself this would be a powerful incentive to maintain the conflict in Syria as long as possible, something Obama seems to be doing his best to do, by recently lifting restrictions on advanced weapons systems to the Syrian rebels.
Here are the details from Perier's article:
A few days ago new facts about Washington’s sponsorship of ISIS appeared in the Bulgarian media, along with the pictures and video made in eastern Aleppo by the Nova TV journalists.
The crew stumbbled upon a warehouse that was used by the Jabhat al-Nusra militants, where they discovered munitions for the BM-21 “Grad” self-propelled multiple rocket launchers, bearing visible indications that they were produced by the Bulgarian manufacturer VMZ (Vazovskaya Heavy Machinery). It’s curious that in spite of the ban on arms sales to Syria, missiles and shells of Bulgarian production, however, fell into the hands of terrorists.
The Bulgarian crew indicated that the munitions were supplied by the company known as Arcus from Lyaskovets, while all labels were written in Bulgarian.
The channel has been consulting military experts ever since and the latter have already stated that it was possible to keep fighting for another two years with the munitions terrorists had.
In July, the report presented by the Balkan Network for Investigative Journalism» (BIRN) and the Project for the Investigation of Corruption and Organized Crime» (OCCRP) stated that thousands of small arms and rounds of ammunition were smuggled from the Balkans to the Persian Gulf and the states bordering Syria. Arms export data, UN reports, plane tracking, and weapons contracts examined during a year-long investigation reveal how the munitions were sent east from Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Montenegro, Slovakia, Serbia and Romania.
Arms dealers in Eastern Europe procured assets from their own countries and brokered the sale of ammunition from Ukraine and Belarus, even attempting to secure Soviet-made anti-tank systems bought from the UK. Robert Stephen Ford, the US ambassador to Syria in the period from 2011 to 2014, told BIRN and OCCRP, that trade is coordinated by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Turkey’s MIT and Gulf monarchies through centers in Jordan and Turkey.
It’s been reported that European countries have been supplying Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey with thousands of assault rifles, mortars, rocket launchers, anti-tank weapons and heavy machine guns, the total worth of which amounts to 1.2 billion euros, all ending up in terrorist hands in Syria and Yemen, contributing to the further escalation of these conflicts.
A number of the countries reported as arms suppliers to terrorists try to use their media sources to deny their role in assisting militants in Syria. In particular, the Croatian government has been consistently denying its role in the conflict. However, according to the New York Times, a senior Croatian official offered to open the country’s arsenals during a visit to Washington in the summer of 2012, after which Zagreb established contact with the Saudis, who bankrolled the purchases while the CIA provided logistical support for the transfer of Croatian weapons.
In their report, BIRN and OCCRP stated that the acquisition of significant amounts of military weapons from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe for the Syrian opposition were directly controlled by Washington. Earlier, the respected military journal Jane’s Defence Weekly in its article “US arms shipment to Syrian rebels detailed” stated that the US supplies the Syrian opposition with weapons and ammunition from Eastern Europe, and noted that these facts were almost officially recognized by the US Senate.
Over the last five years, Ukraine alone has sold nearly 615,000 small arms to Syria. But it’s curious that its official customers are not third world nations, but large Western companies like Hire & Fire, IZH Impex Inc, Waffen Schumacher GmbH, BVS, spol. Sro – all buying old Soviet weapons en masse. In 2012 alone the American Hire & Fire made an accusation of 90,000 Soviet rifles. That’s almost enough to arm four divisions, and in just one year.
Reports on US arms purchases provided by SOCOM show that it paid at least 27 million dollars for Bulgarian weapons and 12 million dollars for Serbian weapons and ammunition in a period from 2014 to 2016 that were supposed to be used for covert operations in Syria. Since December 2015, SOCOM commissioned three cargo ships to transport 4,700 tonnes of weapons and ammunition from the port of Constanta in Romania and Burgas in Bulgaria to the Middle East.
The Montenegro Defence Industry has already exported 250 tons of ammunition and 10,000 grenade launchers to Saudi Arabia since August 2015 for them to be smuggled to Syria. The British SkyNews channel conducted a journalistic investigation, which resulted in uncovering the largest weapons supply channel from Ukraine and some countries of Eastern Europe to the Middle East.
That is why Washington and its European allies are particularly interested in the Syrian conflict to be protracted, preventing people from enjoying peace only to profit from their “bloody business”.
So we must be prepared for new evil designs to be disclosed as new communities in Syria and Iraq are liberated from militants, unleashed by the Obama administration and its European allies.
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
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