ISIL weapons traced to US and Saudi Arabia

Iraqi security forces display weapons confiscated from ISIL fighters [Wissm Al-Okili/Reuters]
Iraqi security forces display weapons confiscated from ISIL fighters [Wissm Al-Okili/Reuters]

Weapons supplied by the United States and Saudi Arabia to opposition fighters often fell into the hands of ISIL, significantly enhancing the “quantity and quality” of the group’s armaments, a new report alleges.

The number of weapons goes “far beyond those that would have been available through battle capture alone”, according to the study by arms-monitoring group Conflict Armament Research (CAR) published on Thursday.

The Weapons of the Islamic State report was based on a three-year field investigation in Iraq and Syria into the group’s arms and their origins.

It analysed more than 40,000 items found on the battlefield including weapons, ammunition, and materials used to make improvised explosive devices. Some were acquired by ISIL through shifting alliances within the Syrian opposition.

The research said most weapons were looted from the Iraqi and Syrian armies, however, some were originally supplied by other nations involved in the conflict to Syrian opposition groups fighting against President Bashar al-Assad.

“Iraq and Syria have seen IS forces use large numbers of weapons, supplied by states such as Saudi Arabia and the United States, against the various international anti-IS coalitions that the two states support,” said CAR.

Syria: Who controls what?


Syria: Who controls what?

All of the items examined were made in EU countries and, in passing them onto armed groups in Syria, the US and Saudi broke contractual clauses prohibiting their retransfer.

“Evidence collected by CAR indicates that the United States has repeatedly diverted EU-manufactured weapons and ammunition to opposition forces in the Syrian conflict. IS forces rapidly gained custody of significant quantities of this materiel,” it said.

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Categories: America, Americas, Arab World

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1 reply

  1. Very interesting revelation, indeed. What irony that Saudi Arabia and the USA then accuse other countries of arming and connections with terroristic organizations when themselves involved in the same business.

    The pot/s calling the kettle/s black!

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