It won’t be an exaggeration to state that the White House and its European allies have made a step too far in a bid to obstruct the successful liberation of the town of Aleppo by the Syrian government forces and Russia’s pilots providing close fire support to them. This development has been widely commented by various analysts and experts across the globe, with some of them claiming that Washington is determined to prevent the complete destruction of ISIS at all costs, since it created and nurtured this terrorist group to overthrow Assad just like the Taliban and Al-Qaeda was created to fight Soviet troops in Afghanistan back in the 1980s.
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 stumbled 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 the radical militants could have been fighting for another two years with the munitions they 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 units of small arms and 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, Turkey’s MIT and Gulf monarchies through the 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, that end up in terrorist hands in Syria and Yemen, contributing to the further escalation of the conflict.
A number of the countries reported as arms suppliers to terrorists try to use their media sources to deny the role they play in assisting radical militants in Syria. In particular, the Croatian Government has been consistently denying its role in the conflict. However, according to the New York Times, one of the senior Croatian officials offered to open country’s arsenals during a visit to Washington in the summer of 2012, after which Zagreb established a contact with the Saudis, that bankrolled the purchases, while the CIA provided logistics 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 thousand units of small arms to Syria. But it’s curious that its officials customers are not some third world countries, 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 acquisition of 90 thousand 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 the period from 2014 to 2016 that were supposed to be used in the Syrian covert operations. 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. Moreover, 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 to enjoy peace only to profit from this “bloody business”.
So we must be prepared for new evil designs to be disclosed as new communities in Syria and Iraq will be liberated from radical militants, unleashed by the Obama administration and its European allies upon the Syrian people.
Jean Périer is an independent researcher and analyst and a renowned expert on the Near and Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”