The Pentagon, after seven years of war, shows no signs of halting its massive arms purchases for Syrian rebels in the Balkans.
New plans indicate that the US wants to buy 25,000 Kalashnikov rifles and 20 million cartridges. The Pentagon plans to spend $ 162.5 million on weapons, ammunition, and other equipment in 2019 to arm Syrian fighters, who, as the official reading suggests, are fighting the “Islamic State.” The information is based on a recently disclosed budget report. The amount adds to the $ 2.2 billion already paid by the US for weapons from former Eastern Bloc countries to Syrian fighters [and other Pentagon-backed groups].
This was reported by the Investigative Portal BIRN in September last year. The arming of Syrian rebels with weapons and ammunition as part of the so-called education and equipment program of the United States was almost exclusively about war weapon manufacturers from the Balkans and Central Europe, as the news portal Balkan Insight writes. The Arab news portal Al Jazeera, in cooperation with BIRN, unveiled details about US spending on the continuation of the proxy war in Syria. BIRN tracked more than 20 flights commissioned by the Pentagon leaving the island airport of Krk in Croatia.
The “unidentified military equipment” was shipped to US bases, especially in the Middle East. The pattern of these arms transports did not change in comparison to first revelations in the past year, it is said. The return flights will continue to be operated by the Azerbaijani airline Silk Way. The Serbian Aviation Directorate informed BIRN that a Silk Way flight from Baku, Azerbaijan, to Rijeka in Croatia on October 5, 2017, which overflowed its airspace, received a permit for “transport of weapons and dangerous goods”. The Croatian authorities have refused to confirm or deny whether the flights are carrying arms to Syria.
Expert: Paths of delivered weapons uncontrollable James Bevan, Director of Conflict Armament Research, has documented more than 40,000 items found in the inventory of the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria and found that many of them were originally delivered by the Pentagon to its allies. Apparently, there are no mechanisms by which the US can guarantee that war goods will not end up in the hands of terrorists. “The main problem is that giving weapons to non-state actors has very little control over what happens to these weapons,” Bevan said, “especially in a situation like Syria, where we have several competing groups.” “In other words, as someone who provides weapons in this conflict, you really have no control over where they go,” he added. The Pentagon insists that US arms deliveries to Syria are “step-by-step” and are only for certain operations. The new weapons are needed, according to the latest Pentagon budget, to create a force capable of “ensuring a safe environment and fighting ISIS 2.0 and AQ [al-Qaeda].” The equipment will be provided to 65,000 “Vetted Syrian Opposition” fighters, which is meant to mean something like “verified Syrian opposition”. Of the fighters, 30,000 are to be tasked with offensive combat operations, while the remaining 35,000 will become part of the new “Internal Security Forces” whose task will be to maintain security in “liberated areas”. The “Vetted Syrian Opposition” has also been used in the past to refer to Syrian rebel groups in West Syria, which have been equipped by the US with BGM-71 anti-tank guided missiles. These units fought primarily with al-Qaeda-related al-Nusra Front against the Syrian army, which is supported by Russia and Iran. The news portal Telepolis notes critically in a recent report that the US is providing “hundreds of millions in support to opponents of a legitimately elected government and undermining the stability of a country.” Continue US support for YPG The US Department of Defense is currently building a deployment force of 30,000 troops in eastern Syria. Most fighters are recruited from the so-called Democratic Forces of Syria. The unit is led by the Kurdish YPG militia and is itself around 50,000 strong. Through the Syrian Democratic Forces, the US controls at least one-third of Syria’s territory. The US military announced in January that half of the new “Internal Security Forces” – still known as the “Border Guard