Saturday, July 28
But how were weapons getting from US Coalition HQ in Jordan to terrorists in Syria?
FSA Deputy Commander Col. Malik al-Kurdi, who one day saw more than he could stomach
The fact of Bulgarian weapons deliveries to terrorists is confirmed by the FSA deputy commander Col. Malik al-Kurdi. In an interview to the [Bulgarian] Trud newspaper, he claimed that “an HQ has been set up in Turkey and Jordan to ensure cooperation between the special services of 15 states. We warned the U.S. and the EU that the weapons delivered in this HQ gets directly in the hands of the terror organizations. It looks like a double game. I can say with certainty that these countries’ special services arm and finance al-Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra; this is happening in Syria. ..."The above is from an Inside Syria Media Center report, "INVESTIGATION: Route of Bulgarian Weapon Deliveries to Syrian Islamists Exposed," published more than a year ago, on May 2, 2017.
The link to the report was forwarded to Joshua Landis when he retweeted a link to one of Robert Fisk's recent investigative reports for the Independent on the weapons ratline from two Eastern European countries to terrorist groups in E. Aleppo ("I traced missile casings in Syria back to their original sellers, so it’s time for the west to reveal who they sell arms to.")
The ISMC report opens with these passages:
Inside Syria Media Center has conducted an investigation to expose U.S.-backed weapon supplies to the al-Qaeda group in Syria.
The suppliers list starts with U.S. company Chemring and its affiliate Chemring Ordinance, which the previous year had signed a contract with the American government and received $47 million in accordance with the Non-Standard Equipment and Weapons Procurement Program.
Orbital ATK, another U.S. company, was granted $50 million within the program.The ISMC was able to establish, through tracing the route of the contracted ship carrier, that the weapons were shipped to the port in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The Bulgarian newspaper Trud, which initiated a journalistic investigation, sent a request to both companies to clarify what the received money was spent on.
Orbital ATK ignored the request. Chemring responded that some ammunition for the U.S. and its allies’ armies was purchased from Vazovski Mashinostroitelni Zavodi (VMZ-Sopot). It included 122mm rockets for the Grad MLRS, 73mm anti-tank shells and 40mm ammo for rocket launchers.
Ammo of these types are not in service in the U.S. army. The company refused to disclose which U.S. allies it was intended for, referring to the confidentiality of the supply contract.
(Another of Robert Fisk's reports -- "A Bosnian signs off weapons he says are going to Saudi Arabia – but how did his signature turn up in Aleppo?" -- also points to the Saudis as recipients of weapons shipments from eastern Europe that ended up with terrorist groups in E. Aleppo.)
However, ISMC doesn't explain how the weapons got from Jeddah into Syria. The brief quote from Col. Kurdi only indicates that U.S. Coalition headquarters in Jordan and Turkey were part of the ratline into Syria. Now I can imagine how materiel got from Turkey into Syria, at least before the Kurds might have shut down the smuggling route: easily. But from Jordan?
Ah well. People get paid to do this kind of research; eventually the whole story will come out. What I'd really like to know, and I think everyone who doesn't like terrorist groups would like to know, is whether this ratline(s) is now shut down.