Posts Tagged ‘Croatia’

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Weapons routed from Balkans to Syrian rebels

February 18, 2014

A new report indicates that a Croatian arms smuggling kingpin is being paid by the spy agencies of Middle Eastern monarchies to supply Syria’s extremist rebels.  The article is presumably referring to Saudi Arabia’s spy service, (the General Intelligence Presidency), Qatari State Security, and the Turkish clandestine agency MIT.  Some of the weapons that the Croatian dealer is transferring to Syria may have originated from Libya (see here and here).  And this isn’t the first time that European countries have been used for logistics behind illegal arms transfers to the Syrian front.

Thanks to Kathi Lynn Austin, the executive director of the Conflict Awareness Project, for tweeting out a link to this report from Panorama:

Intelligence Online: Croatian arms baron is settled in Azerbaijan from where it will deliver weapon to Syria

Croatian businessman, leader in Balkans’ arms trade Hrvoje Petrac is looking for a new business opportunities in Syria. As the French edition of Intelligence Online reports, he now works in Baku.

According to the newspaper, Petrac has previously been in prison for kidnapping the son of the Director of the Croatian arms exporting agency “Agensija Alan”.

“He will supply weapons to Syria via Jordan from Baku. It operates under the auspices and the funding of the security services of the Middle East countries, that are supporting the Syrian rebels,” the article reads.

Intelligence Online notes that Petrac is not the only arms dealer, who is making money on the Syrian conflict. Syrian insurgents also get weapons from Albanian and Serb arsenals.

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Syrian rebels awash in Saudi-supplied arms

March 22, 2013

We have known for months that Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been financing and supplying Syrian rebels, but a recent interview with Zayd Alisa on Iranian television details increased arms shipments by the Saudis purchased from Croatia and routed through Jordan.  The beneficiaries include the al-Nusra Front—the Al Qaeda front group in Syria.

Iran is extremely hostile to Saudi Arabia, and Iranian news is grossly biased—which should be kept in mind while watching this—but the details discussed are largely based on solid reporting in New York Times article from late February.

The New York Times notes that Iran’s “shipments to Syria’s government, still outstrips what Arab states have sent to the rebels,” so Saudi Arabia and Qatar certainly aren’t the only ones to blame for funding the bloodshed in Syria.

More recently, the London Telegraph has reported that the U.S. and Europe have airlifted 3,000 tons of weapons to Syrian rebels.