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Two studies on arms trafficking to Syria and Iraq

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Let us highlight several publications on arms and ammunition trafficking to the destinations of Syria and Iraq.

- In a lengthy study [1], Conflict Armament Research revisits to what extent Isis has benefited from trafficking over the last three years. This mysterious organization has studied 84 sites in Iraq and 27 in Syria. It has picked up on a number of more than 1,800 arms with the help of the Iraqi government and pro-US Coalition forces. Its conclusion: Daesh arms often came from stocks that were initially meant for “factions” (sic) supported by Western countries. This meticulous study had been co-funded by the European Union and the German Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Despite the press making much noise about it, its results deceive: it does no more than confirm once again what we have already learnt from transport documents.

- In a Foreign Policy article [2], Adam Rawnsley, Eric Woods and Christiaan Triebert, reveal the sale of US military arms and ammunition to jihadists through a simple computer market on Telegram. You can buy all sorts of arms in bulk or individually, from Kalachnikovs to tanks, passing for detonators for artisanal bombs. It is not clear if these products have or have not been transferred voluntarily by the Pentagon or the CIA to private traders to allow them to do unofficially what Washington officially denies doing. The article does not specify that the merchandise is transported to the Middle East. The matter has appeared sufficiently serious for the Syrian Arab Republic to raise the matter with the UN Secretary General and the Security Council (letter of 11 December 2017, reference S/2017/1036).

Translation
Anoosha Boralessa

[1] Weapons of the Islamic State. A three-year of investigations in Iraq and Syria, Conflict Armament Research, December 2017.

[2] “The Messaging App Fueling Syria’s Insurgency”, Adam Rawnsley, Eric Woods & Christiaan Triebert, Foreign Policy, November 6, 2017.

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