Eastern European countries have approved the discreet sale of more than €1bn of weapons in the past four years to Middle Eastern countries that are known to ship arms to Syria, an investigation has found.
Thousands of assault rifles such as AK-47s, mortar shells, rocket launchers, anti-tank weapons and heavy machine guns are being routed through a new arms pipeline from the Balkans to the Arabian peninsula and countries bordering Syria….
In the past, the region had virtually no track record of buying from central and eastern Europe. But purchases appear to be escalating, with some of the biggest deals approved in 2015….
Eastern and central European weapons and ammunition, identified from videos and photos posted on social media, are now… in the hands of fighters from Islamist groups such as Ansar al-Sham, the al Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, Islamic State… and by Sunni forces in Yemen.
Markings on some of the ammunition identifying the origin and date of manufacture reveal significant quantities have come off production lines as recently as 2015….
The latest US-chartered ship left Bulgaria on 21 June carrying about 1,700 tonnes of the same materiel to an unidentified Red Sea port…
Two weeks after a March 2016 delivery, Kurdish groups published on Twitter and Facebook a photo of a warehouse piled with ammunition boxes in northern Syria, claiming to have received a supply of US-brokered weapons.
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