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Friday, July 21, 2017

Brussels promised to check the data on arms transfers from the EU to Syria

According to sources, the EU leadership check the data on the supply of arms from some EU countries for the militants in Syria. As found out in late July, a journalistic investigation, the weapon was delivered with the direct involvement of the CIA and the Pentagon. Experts believe the supply of crime and stupidity at the same time, because of the weapons eventually ended up in the “Caliphate”.

The European Union is exploring data on the supply from Europe of arms and ammunition in the middle Eastern States that support armed opposition in Syria, has informed on Tuesday of RIA “news” a source in the EU.

“This is usually done when there are impartial data that can cast a shadow, for example, new members of NATO and the EU, which sometimes, I think, in General, everything is permitted”

“We are aware of these crimes and investigate them,” – said the Agency interlocutor. As you know, EU countries and candidate countries for EU membership in the issuance of licenses for arms exports are required to assess the risk of their falling into terrorist movements.

As reported by the newspaper VIEW, in late July, the Balkan network of investigative journalists (BIRN) and the Centre for investigation of corruption and organized crime (OCCRP) published a report “Making a killing: the channel of delivery of weapons to the middle East” – the result of a joint investigation by 2012. According to the report, eight of the EU countries and candidate EU C in Syria and Yemen weapons and ammunition to a total amount of not less than 1.2 billion euros, and deliveries have led to “untold human suffering”.

Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania, and Bosnia and Serbia have sold thousands of assault rifles, mortar shells, rocket launchers, light anti-tank weapons and heavy machine guns to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the Emirates and Turkey. As pointed out by “Kommersant”, until 2011, the supply of arms between these countries was never actually carried out. It is assumed that then the weapons got into Syria, and Yemen, contributing there to foment two wars.

Weapons purchased by the Saudis, Turks, Jordanians and the UAE for Syria, passes through two secret site in Jordan and Turkey, the so-called military operations centers, according to the study authors. Then with the direct participation of the CIA and the Pentagon” – it transported to the border of Syria or dumped abroad. Washington also bought in the countries of Central Europe a large number of military equipment for the Syrian rebels, according to the study.

1.2 billion is only the official data recorded in the export licenses. The real amount could be much higher. As the authors of the investigation, open data in arms sales last year are absent from four of the eight countries and for the current year – seven of them. Every year the trade turnover between the participants in this supply chain is only growing, with several major transactions occurred in the last year.

Mostly import the Saudis: for four years they, according to documents procured various weapons to 829 million euros. They are followed by Jordan, UAE and Turkey, whose volume of purchases through this channel amounted to 87 million euros.

In this case, the sale of weapons illegal

OCCRP and BIRN were able to track some of the weapons exported from Central Europe, thanks to the photos and videos published on social media. So, he was able to find in Syria. And it is not only in the hands of the “Free Syrian army”, supported by the West, but in the hands of the Islamists and the many terrorist movements, among which are “dzhebhat an-Nusra” (now – “jabhat al Fatah ash-sham) and ISIL*. Some of these weapons are found even in the government forces of Bashar al-Assad, and the other part – the Sunnis in Yemen.

According to the report, the supply to Syria and Yemen is opened after the visit of the unknown high-ranking Croatian official to Washington in the winter of 2012. How to write about it in a year, The New York Times, he offered to supply weapons to Syria, which was made in Yugoslavia and a large number were stored in warehouses in Croatia. Pretty soon this offer responded to Saudi Arabia, which has assumed the expenses on its purchase. By the same supplies involved in the CIA. Over time, the deliveries started from seven countries. Arms dealers had it at home, and were selling weapons from Ukraine and Belarus.

Now that the weapons are transported mostly by air, although the investigation had found evidence of supply in the Arab countries and the sea. Only for last 13 months, the authors recorded 68 flights of cargo vessels, on Board of which there were a ton of weapons for Turkey and its allies on the Arabian Peninsula. Most of the supplies are from Belgrade, delivered the weapons mainly in military bases in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and directly to Syria and Yemen goes through two secret command post.

Governments sellers deny their involvement in the supply, say the authors of the report. In addition, some of them said employees OCCRP and BIRN, which fully comply with international obligations under the arms trade, others are reminded that Saudi Arabia is not included in any black list, which would prohibit there the supply of weapons. The further fate of these goods not in European countries, claimed the officials.

However, it is not so, says a representative of Amnesty International Patrick Wilken. “There is little evidence of systematic resale of arms to armed groups responsible for serious human rights violations. In this case, the sale of weapons is illegal and in violation of the Treaty on the arms trade, the UN and other international legislation and should be stopped immediately”, – quotes the report of Vilkene.

What extremist groups are recognized as terrorist in different countries (infographic)Scandal swept under the rug

It is noteworthy that the European Union press almost ignored the results of the investigation. Director of the German-Russian forum, German political scientist Alexander Rahr laments that in Western Europe almost did not write about it. “Everything remains on some tenth or twentieth place, so we can assume that there will be no scandal. It will not be shared with the Western public. This is usually done when there are impartial data that can cast a shadow, for example, new members of NATO and the EU, which sometimes, I think, in General, everything is permitted” – outraged the expert in interview to the newspaper VIEW.

It is noteworthy that in the countries of Central Europe, which directly appear in the report as “warmongers”, the press, in fact, ignores the results of the investigation. “Yes, this is briefly reported, and the photos and videos there, but in General the Czech Republic it is practically unknown, it is not discussed, – has told to the newspaper OPINION columnist Czech newspaper Aktualne Jiri Joost. – When more concrete data, then it may be of interest to the subject. Society in General doesn’t notice. Those who know it, probably, is perceived negatively. My personal view is ugly and wrong. If the weapon falls into the hands of terrorists, who could approve?!”

The Czech writer hopes that the EU will start an investigation on this matter and European official bodies will react to this data seriously. However, personally, he does not condemn the supply of arms to “moderate opposition” in Syria. “We already have consensus and Russia, and the United States, and the United Nations over the opposition of its support”, – he explained.

“If you take the dogmatic view”

YUST acknowledges that public opinion in the West constantly accuses Russia that she helps “rebels and separatists” in Ukraine, however, when Western countries send weapons to militants in Syria, the same society looks at it approvingly. “If you take a dogmatic view, and then it would be a violation of international law,” says Czech writer.

Russian experts agree that the Western public opinion sets a double standard.

“Liberal public opinion does not notice that from the point of view of international law is one and the same. It does not match the supply of arms to “moderate opposition” with international law. For people in the West is like a completely different conflicts,” – said the newspaper LOOK the head of the Council on foreign and defense policy, editor in chief of the magazine “Russia in global politics” Fyodor Lukyanov.

However, Western society’s opinion today is simply confused in their assessments of the events in Syria, the analyst believes. “The line between “moderate” and “immoderate” opposition in Syria, no one to hold can’t. Somehow it is hard to imagine now a scandal similar to the famous scandal “Iran-contra” 80-ies in the United States, when it became clear that the Reagan administration contributed to the complex supply chain of weapons to Iran, ” said Lukyanov. – Then was a clear picture of who someone is opposed. In particular, Iran was the enemy if not number one, no number two. Now everything is so confusing, indistinct, unclear. Well, it turns out that someone was delivered. Some noise can rise, even some investigations will start, official and unofficial. Can find any not even scapegoats, and beneficiaries. But no effect it will not have”, – concluded the expert.

* Organization in respect of which the court accepted entered into legal force decision on liquidation or ban the activities on the grounds stipulated by the Federal law “On countering extremist activity”

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