US weapon deliveries to Syrian rebels

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See also US covert war on Syria

Sources

Some of the Yugoslav ammunition is from very old stock from the 1940s or 1950s. (More here)
Brand new BM 21 Grad rockets from VMZ in Bulgaria used by FSA 1st and 13th brigades and by al-Nusra Front
Sample cargo list for September 2016 delivery
Pentagon’s overt spending on weapons for Syrian rebels. (Does not include covert spending by the CIA.)
Simplified packing list for December 2015 arms shipment
  • Czech government to send more arms aid to Iraq and Jordan - Prague Daily monitor, January 26, 2016
  • US arms shipment to Syrian rebels detailed - Jeremy Binnie, Neil Gibson, IHS Jane's Defence Weekly, April 8, 2016
    The FBO has released two solicitations in recent months looking for shipping companies to transport explosive material from Eastern Europe to the Jordanian port of Aqaba on behalf of the US Navy's Military Sealift Command.
    Released on 3 November 2015, the first solicitation sought a contractor to ship 81 containers of cargo that included explosive material from Constanta in Romania to Aqaba.
    The solicitation was subsequently updated with a detailed packing list that showed the cargo had a total weight of 994 tonnes, a little under half of which was to be unloaded at Agalar, a military pier near the Turkish town of Tasucu, the other half at Aqaba.
    The cargo listed in the document included AK-47 rifles, PKM general-purpose machine guns, DShK heavy machine guns, RPG-7 rocket launchers, and 9K111M Faktoria anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW) systems. The Faktoria is an improved version of the 9K111 Fagot ATGW, the primary difference being that its missile has a tandem warhead for defeating explosive reactive armour (ERA) fitted to some tanks.
  • The Middle East Airlift - Lawrence Marzouk and Ivan Angelovski, OCCRP, July 27, 2016
    Over the past 13 months, at least 68 cargo flights from Serbia, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Czech Republic have carried thousands of tons of munitions to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Jordan, three key suppliers of the Syrian rebels.
  • Syria: NATO Sends New GRADS to Foreign Terrorists in Idlib - Miri Wood, Syria News, September 29, 2016
    It is clear that those GRADs in Idlib are brand new, directly from the factory. No old Warsaw stockpiles stuff anymore. This pristine gift, this gift to slaughter Syrian soldiers defending their homeland within its borders, this gift to further destroy Syrian infrastructure, this gift to massacre more Syrians, comes from Bulgaria, specifically from Vazovski Masbinostroitelni Zavodi (VMZ), “the biggest enterprise of the military and industrial complex in Bulgaria.”
  • IS conflict: How is it getting hold of weapons from the West? - Gordon Corera, BBC News, November 21, 2016
    Ammo paid by US/Saudi for Syrian rebels ends up with ISIS (video) + another video
  • Congress authorizes anti-aircraft missiles for Syrian opposition - SOFREP, December 8, 2016
    The Fiscal Year 2015 NDAA, which originally authorized the Defense Department’s Syria Train and Equip Program, did not contain any explicit bans on the provisions of anti-aircraft weapons to the vetted Syrian opposition. ... The inclusion of the provision represents a departure from previous versions of the NDAA. The original House bill specifically prohibited the transfer of MANPADS to “any entity” in Syria, while the Senate bill did not address it.
  • Aleppo Starts Uncovering Washington’s Evil Designs, Jean Périer, New Eastern Outlook, December 16, 2016
    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. [...]
    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!
  • Exclusive: CIA-backed aid for Syrian rebels frozen after Islamist attack - sources - REUTERS, February 21, 2017
    The halt in assistance, which has included salaries, training, ammunition and in some cases guided anti-tank missiles, is a response to jihadist attacks and has nothing to do with U.S. President Donald Trump replacing Barack Obama in January, two U.S. officials familiar with the CIA-led program said.
    The support funneled to vetted FSA factions has included contributions from Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia - states that have opposed Assad. It is one of several foreign aid channels to rebels. Others still function.
    Reuters confirmed the freeze with officials from five of the FSA groups that have been recipients of financial and military support from the so-called "MOM operations room". It was also confirmed by two other senior FSA figures briefed on the matter.
    They spoke on condition of anonymity given the covert nature of the CIA-backed program and the sensitivity of the subject.
  • The Death Of A US Contractor Has Exposed America’s Failures In Syria - Aram Roston, BuzzFeed News, March 29, 2017
    But guided anti-tank missiles have been hard to come by in recent years — the wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere have depleted the stockpiles. So Purple Shovel and Regulus, in a bizarre move for a US deal, were buying the Konkurs from the sanctioned nation of Belarus, which had been under European Union arms embargo and is often called “Europe’s last dictatorship.” It’s considered a rogue state, dealing with Syria, Iran, and North Korea. BuzzFeed News has previously revealed that SOCOM was aware the missiles were being bought from Belarus.
    He pushed for extreme secrecy. “I need no loose lips,” he wrote. “It is VERY VERY important the 3 guys do not mention to anyone Tuesday through Friday in Bulgaria that they were in Belarus.”
  • Tracing Bulgarian Arms Shipments to Syrian Islamists - Diana Mikhailova, via South Front, April 25, 2017
    It’s April 6, 2017. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The Denmark-flagged Marianne Danica cargo ship has arrived in the biggest seaport in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The ship had left Burgas ten days earlier (March 28) loaded with tons of weapons, a fact confirmed by Marinetraffic.com satellite tracking data. The ship was declared as carrying a Hazard A (Major) dangerous cargo, which in accordance with the International Cargo Classification system denotes weapons and explosives. The dangerous cargo is unloaded within 8 hours of the ship arriving in Jeddah, and the ship sets return course to Burgas. The Bulgarian weapons shipments are not meant for Saudi Arabia which could not use it in any event, as its military uses only Western weapons.
    In December 2016, Trud reporters discovered Bulgarian weapons manufactured at VMZ-Sopot, in 9 An-Nusra jihadists’ storage facilities in eastern Aleppo in Syria. An-Nusra is considered a terrorist group due to its ties with Al-Qaeda. In spite on the ban on exporting weapons due to the war in Syria, two million shells and 4 thousand Grad rockets have made their way from Bulgaria to the jihadists in Aleppo, as demonstrated by our investigation in Syria.
    The boxes in markings in the Bulgarian language, which indicate Bulgaria was the country of origin, contain 122mm Grad rockets.
  • How America Armed Terrorists in Syria, Gareth Porter, The American Conservative, June 22, 2017
    The significance of all this is clear: by helping its Sunni allies provide weapons to al Nusra Front and its allies and by funneling into the war zone sophisticated weapons that were bound to fall into al Nusra hands or strengthen their overall military position, U.S. policy has been largely responsible for having extended al Qaeda’s power across a significant part of Syrian territory. The CIA and the Pentagon appear to be ready to tolerate such a betrayal of America’s stated counter-terrorism mission. Unless either Congress or the White House confronts that betrayal explicitly, as Tulsi Gabbard’s legislation would force them to do, U.S. policy will continue to be complicit in the consolidation of power by al Qaeda in Syria, even if the Islamic State is defeated there.
  • AIR NATO: A Look Inside the West’s Secret Weapons Racket That’s Destroying Syria - Patrick Henningsen, 21st Century Wire, July 9, 2017
    This week, Trud released the latest chapter of their investigation which details exactly how Silk Way Airlines (an Azerbaijani state-run company) conducted at least 350 diplomatic charter flights transporting weapons destined for war conflict areas across the world over the last 3 years. The key to this story is that the Azeri firm appears to have exploited a loop-hole in the international aviation and transport regulations by requesting a diplomatic exemption for aircrafts and their cargo, in effect allowing the Azeri airline to carry on-board tens of tons of heavy weapons and ammunition under the color of diplomatic immunity – with much of the cargo heading for known terrorist enclaves in Syria, but also to other conflict zones including Central Asia and Africa.
  • May 2017: Rebels get OT-64 SKOT
    In May 2017 Danish cargo ship with containers with weapon & OT-64 SKOT was spotted in the Bosphorus en route from Bulgarian Burgas to Jeddah (photos) One OT-64_SKOT is later seen on rebel video: OT-64 SKOT APC from #EU Czech Republic/Poland was illegally delivered to rebels in Daraa,Syria through Bulgaria.
  • Israel Is Arming FSA Groups In Southern Syria (Video, Photos) - SouthFront, September 9, 2017
    On September 8, the Syrian opposition news agency SMART published a video of a Free Syrian Army (FSA) group shelling position of the ISIS-affiliated Khalid ibn al-Walid Army in the western Daraa countryside with 107mm rockets that was supplied by Israel. In the video we can spot a paper with Hebrew writings on the rocket boxes. A similar paper with the same writings was used by the Israel authorities when it showcased the ammunition it sized from the MV Francop container ship.
    The MV Francop container ship was intercepted by the Israeli Navy on November 3, 2009. Back than the Israeli authorities claimed that the ship was transporting ammo and weapons from Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
  • September 2017: FSA gets Iranian weapons from Israel
    Yuri L‏ @imp_navigator: Looks like Israel transferred Iranian ammo captured from MV Francop etc to militants in south of Syria https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1E_fvAbrZoc
  • The Pentagon's $2.2 Billion Soviet Arms Pipeline Flooding Syria, Balkan Investigative Reporting Network & Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, September 12, 2017
    The Pentagon is on a spending spree as it scrabbles to amass vast quantities of Soviet-style weapons and ammunition. But it’s running into problems sourcing them, and is using misleading legal documents to disguise their final destination: Syria.
  • US sent weapons to Syria through Ramstein military base - report - Deutsche Welle, September 13, 2017
    Washington's air base in southwest Germany was used for a time to store and send weapons to Syrian rebels, according to a German news daily. If the report proves true, the US could have violated German law.
  • The Messaging App Fueling Syria’s Insurgency - Foreign Policy, November 6, 2017
    Foreign Policy was able to identify serial numbers for at least 28 different American weapons in Telegram markets. A spokesperson for the U.S.-led anti-Islamic State operation said the coalition believes the arms “may have been part of the now-terminated Syria Train and Equip program” that provided weapons to Syrian rebel forces.
  • US Reacts To Ankara's Idlib Operation: Restores Supplies To Al-Qaeda-Affiliated Groups, Suspends All Non-Immigrant Visa Services In Turkey - South Front, October 8, 2017
    The US has resumed its support to few Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups in Idlib governorate after 2 months of pausing it, the Syrian opposition news website Enab Baladi reported on October 8. According to the report, the US Military Operation Center in Turkey, named by Turks “MOM”, resumed its support for Jaish al-Nasser in Idlib. Jaish al-Nasser is considered one of the main allies of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda).
  • Weapons of the Islamic State - Conflict Armament Research, December 2017
    Unauthorised retransfer—the violation of agreements by which a supplier government prohibits the re-export of materiel by a recipient government without its prior consent—is a significant source of IS weapons and ammunition. The United States and Saudi Arabia supplied most of this materiel without authorisation, apparently to Syrian opposition forces. This diverted materiel, recovered from IS forces, comprises exclusively Warsaw Pact calibre weapons and ammunition, purchased by the United States and Saudi Arabia from European Union (EU) Member States in Eastern Europe.
  • The U.S. bought weapons for Syrian rebels — and some wound up in the hands of ISIS terrorists - Jim Michaels, USA Today, December 14, 2017
    The arms included anti-tank weapons purchased by the United States that ended up in possession of the Islamic State within two months of leaving the factory, according to the study by Conflict Armament Research, an organization that tracks arms shipments. The study was funded by the European Union and German government.
    The study examined 40,000 weapons and other items recovered from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, during the past three years.
  • How CIA-supplied Missiles Ended Up In Hands Of ISIS - Report - South Front, December 15, 2017
    CAR’s team inspected a 9M113 Konkurs ATGM container that was captured from ISIS by the Iraq Army in February 2016. The investigation proved that the Soviet-designed missile was actually made by the Bulgarian arms manufacturer Vazovski machine-building plant (VMZ), which is owned by another Bulgarian trade company called SAGE Consulting. According to the report, in 2014 the CIA used “Kiesler Police Supply”, a small American company base in Indiana, as a front to purchase 600 9M113 Konkurs from SAGE in order to supply them later to what the US called “moderate” Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups in Syria.
    CAR team was able to determine that the 9113 Konkurs missile container it inspected in Iraq was bought by CIA from SAGE on December 15, 2015. The incident took place only 59 days before the Iraqi Army captured it in Ramadi city. This shocking fact meant that ISIS units in Iraq were able to obtain the US-supplied missiles as soon as they were handed over to the FSA groups in Syria. Bulgarian-made 9M113 Konkurs missiles with a serial-number close to the one captured in Iraq was spotted with Jaysh al-Nasir, a US-backed FSA group allied to al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). Jaysh al-Nasir is based in Idlib governorate in northern Syria that is totally isolated from the ISIS-held areas. This means that ISIS could only get these advance missiles if Jaysh al-Nasir smuggled them to it.
  • How Al-Qaeda Ended Up With Anti-Aircraft Missiles: Here Is The Congressional Authorization - ZeroHedge, February 6, 2018
  • Turkish President Erdogan Blasts The US For "Sending 5,000 Trucks Loaded With Weapons To Northern Syria" - ZeroHedge, April 24, 2018
    “We cannot buy weapons from the US with our money, but unfortunately, the US and coalition forces give these weapons, this ammunition, to terrorist organizations for free,” Erdoğan stated in an interview on Turkish NTV news channel. During the interview, the Turkish president unloaded a bombshell that most Americans are entirely oblivious to — Washington and the Trump administration are deploying thousands of trucks jammed packed with guns and ammunition to Syrian terrorist. The United States has recently “sent 5,000 trucks loaded with weapons to northern Syria,” he said.
  • Russian Military Finds Syrian Militants' Depots With NATO Weapons - Sputnik, May 21, 2018
    “We are in the Zaafarana settlement in the province of Homs at an al-Nusra Front terror group observation point. We can see here a large number of gas masks, weapons produced abroad, for example, TOW-2 anti-tank guided missiles. The facilities are very well-equipped,” the center’s representative Andrey Nekipelov said.
  • Ben Rhodes Admits Obama Armed Jihadists In Syria In Bombshell Interview - ZeroHedge, June 24, 2018
    To our knowledge this is the only time a major media organization has directly asked a high ranking foreign policy adviser from the Obama administration to own up to the years long White House support to jihadists in Syria.
  • Daraa Depot Uncovered: Massive Weapons and Ammo Cache Left Behind Prove West Funded Terror - Vesti News, July 5, 2018 (video)

Analysis