The Pentagon Purchased Weapons in Ukraine For “Moderate” Rebels in Syria

Translated by Ollie Richardson


The Pentagon bought Soviet-era weapons for Syrian “rebels” [al-Qaeda – ed] from Kazakhstan, Georgia, and Ukraine. This is said in the investigation of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN).

“The Pentagon employed a whole army of contractors and subcontractors — from rich military-industrial corporations to firms having connections with organized crime. With their help he sent to the Syrian rebels, who for a long time fight against the Islamic State (ISIS), Soviet-era weapons and ammunition amounting to $2.2 billion,” it is said in the investigation.

Journalists claim that Balkan and Eastern European arms manufacturers, which already work at full capacity to supply the Syrian war, aren’t capable of satisfying this demand.

That’s why the US Department of Defense turned to other suppliers from Kazakhstan, Georgia, and Ukraine, having lowered at the same time the demands for production standards.

The chain of arms supplies was realized separately from the already closed CIA program for arms to the rebels, who are fighting against the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

According to the investigation, the Pentagon buys weapons using two channels: through the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which controls special operations in all branches of the US Armed Forces, and through Picatinny Arsenal — a military research and production organization in the State of New Jersey.

Weapons are transported from Europe to Turkey, Jordan, and Kuwait both by sea and by air. Then, by means of planes or trucks, it is distributed between allies of the US in the North and the South of Syria.

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According to thousands of documents on purchases that were analysed by journalists of BIRN and OCCRP, by May, 2017, (there is no data for later periods) SOCOM received from Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine weapons and ammunition amounting to $238.5 million.

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