When you follow the gun trail, you sometimes end up in unexpected places

Robert Fisk

In a third exclusive clip from This Is Not A Movie, a documentary film by Yung Chang about the foreign reporting of Robert Fisk, Robert discusses how he followed the trail of weapons from the front lines of Syria to a small village in Bosnia

Robert Fisk
@indyvoices

I’ve always wanted to find out where the guns came from. Who were the ‘willing accomplices’ to the wars I witnessed?

In 1996, I traced to its Boeing makers in the deep south of the US a missile fired by the Israelis at a Lebanese ambulance. It killed two women and four children. I even went to Georgia and met the developers of the rocket that killed them. And in Syria, deep in the basement of a bombed Nusra-al-Qaeda headquarters in Aleppo, I found hundreds of mortars – along with their shipment documents and factory instructions. They were to be used against the Assad regime. But who had supplied them?

They had been made in Novi Travnik in Bosnia, a town I knew well because I had covered the Bosnian war. One of the shipment papers carried the dispatcher’s name: Ifet Krnjic. I felt – I absolutely believed — I could find this man. A hunch? No. I set off to Novi Tavnik with the conviction that this man was there and would talk to me. And we found him, mowing his lawn on a Sunday afternoon in a neighbouring village.

As our cameras rolled and I pulled out my notepad, Krnjic touched the document I’d brought from Aleppo, pointed to his name and said: “That’s my signature.” Who did he send them to? The Saudis, he said. A Saudi minister and three Saudi army officers had visited him at the factory.

Gotcha! I thought. Krnjic was an honourable and good man, a member of the old Yugoslav Communist party. He wanted to tell the truth and he understood what I was after: how did these mortars reach Syria?

The Saudis denied it all, of course, as if the documents and the mortars were fake. They had no part in this, they said. I thought very differently. These weapons – there were more mortars in that basement than the entire British army possessed – were, I was sure, shipped to Saudi Arabia and then to Turkey and then crossed the Syrian border to the city in which I found them, 12 miles from the frontier, in Aleppo.

 

read more here:

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/robert-fisk-bosnia-syria-saudi-arabia-this-is-not-a-movie-yung-chang-a9236101.html

2 replies

  1. Do I need to say it again? Robert Fisk’s articles need to be read in full, again and again.

    One thing not mentioned here: Redicilous of Saudi Arabia to accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism. Of course they do. I have seen it with my own eyes in Libya. But so of course does Saudi Arabia. Real ‘brother-in-arms actually. And, all of that support comes not only with permission from USA but by their request and order. USA / Israel orders, the oil Arabs pay and dance.

  2. Foolow the gun trail: Another VERY INTERESTING piece:

    https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/is-this-some-kind-of-crusade-1262174.html

    how Robert Fisk followed the trail of an Israeli (actually US) rocket that killed civilians in Lebanon. The rocket was supposed to have been used in the first gulf war getting the Iraqis out of Kuwait. Instead of returning the rockets to the US after the war the delivery was diverted and offloaded in Israel. In the US ‘accounting’ (or lack thereof) it was shown as “used in the war”.

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