Saturday, June 22, 2013

Oh this is gonna bite: 'Libyan weapons branch out mostly to al Qaeda types in Syria'

Paid for by Qatar, KSA and GB, France and yes (say it!), the USA!
"... As the United States and its Western allies move toward providing lethal aid to Syrian rebels, these secretive transfers give insight into an unregistered arms pipeline that is difficult to monitor or control. And while the system appears to succeed in moving arms across multiple borders and to select rebel groups, once inside Syria the flow branches out. Extremist fighters, some of them aligned with Al Qaeda, have the money to buy the newly arrived stock, and many rebels are willing to sell...
 Those weapons, which slipped from state custody as Colonel Qaddafi’s people rose against him in 2011, are sent on ships or Qatar Emiri Air Force flights to a network of intelligence agencies and Syrian opposition leaders in Turkey. Qatari C-17 cargo aircraft have made at least three stops in Libya this year — including flights from Mitiga airport in Tripoli on Jan. 15 and Feb. 1, and another that departed Benghazi on April 16, according to flight data provided by an aviation official in the region. The planes returned to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. The cargo was then flown to Ankara, Turkey, along with other weapons and equipment that the Qataris had been gathering for the rebels, officials and rebels said..... the United States could soon be openly feeding the same distribution network, just as it has received weapons from other sources.The movements from Libya complement the airlift that has variously used Saudi, Jordanian and Qatari military cargo planes to funnel military equipment and weapons, including from Croatia, to the outgunned rebels. On Friday, Syrian opposition officials said the rebels had received a new shipment of anti-tank weapons and other arms, although they give varying accounts of the sources of the recently received arms. The Central Intelligence Agency has already played at least a supporting role, the officials say.
The Libyan shipments principally appear to be the work of armed groups there, and not of the weak central state, officials said.
One former senior Obama administration familiar with the transfers said the Qatari government built relationships with Libyan militias in 2011, when, according to the report of a United Nations Panel of Experts, it shipped in weapons to rebel forces there in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973...most of the weapons have been relatively light, ...But the Libyan influx appears to account for at least a portion of the antitank weapons seen in the conflict this spring, including Belgian-made projectiles for M40 recoilless rifles and some of the Russian-made Konkurs-M guided missiles that have been destroying Syrian tanks in recent months....“Any fighting group in Syria that wants weapons from Libya will go to the staff asking for the approval from the Turkish authorities involved in the transfer, then gets it, the weapons arrive in Syria, and everyone gets his due share,” he said....

1 comment:

Bandolero said...

I just found an interesting sentence at AFP. Quote:

"... The matter of "strategic importance" to France, according to the president's entourage, is its Rafale fighter jets, which Paris is trying to sell to Qatar. ..."

Source: Hollande in Qatar for talks on Syria, economy