Islamic State fighters are illegally using guns and other weapons made in Eastern European factories, in a newly-discovered supply chain that is “almost direct”, a weapons expert has claimed.
James Bevan, the director of Conflict Armament Research (CAR)… said CAR is currently challenging the governments of Bulgaria and Serbia, among others, over the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia.
Despite signing an ‘End User’ agreement saying it will use the weapons itself and not sell these them to any other countries, Saudi Arabia appears to send them “straight to Turkey”, from where they get into Islamic State’s hands “very, very rapidly”…
Bevan said his evidence… showed that anyone supplying weapons one of the many rebel Syrian opposition groups has “absolutely no control” over where they end up. Syrian factions that supposedly oppose IS often merge with them or work with them, leading to weapons quickly getting into IS possession, he explained.
Some foreign powers trying to help groups fighting IS are actually backing “pretty hard line Islamist forces,” he claimed, adding that: “it’s very difficult to distinguish between them and Islamic State….”
CAR’s teams have tracked nearly half a million weapons and pieces of ammunition in two years, using serial numbers and markings that link each item to a specific factory.Read more