Friday, August 24

Russia has proof of governments' direct transfer of weapons to Islamic State

aesh in Syria Supplied with Arms by Foreign Agencies – Russian Envoy to UN

© Sputnik / MORAD SAEED
UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik - 8/24) - Russia has proof that the Islamic State terror group has been receiving weapons from other countries with the help of foreign security agencies, Russian envoy to the UN Vassily Nebenzya said.
"We have amassed evidence that weapons are being smuggled [to Syria] from outside, including through semi-legal organizations or even under protection of security agencies from other countries," he told the United Nations on Thursday.
More on Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Nebenzya's remarks on the topic from the Russian state news agency TASS, 8/24:
... He recalled that during the discussion of the UN secretary-general’s previous report on anti-Islamic State efforts, the Russian delegation had drawn attention to flagrant violations of the ban to sell weapons to terrorists. "The question is still open: how this gang of bandits managed to collect an arms arsenal to be able to resist the world’s biggest armies, by hook or by crook," Nebenzya said.
"The current report presents the situation in a way [to make it seem] that Islamic State militants are making do only with what turns up -- plundering warehouses in territories they control and making improvised explosive devices," he noted, adding that, as a matter of fact, they can make only the most primitive weapons and in small amounts.
"More and more evidence indicates that weapons are supplied from outside, including via semi-legal structures or even under supervision of special services of a number of countries," the Russian diplomat stressed.
"We hope to discuss ways to resolve this problem at an international conference on counteracting illegal weapons supplies in the context of efforts against international terrorism due to be held in Moscow on September 3-4."
The bombshell Mr Nebenzya dropped yesterday at the United Nations Security Council could explain the length of yesterday's meeting in Geneva between U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton and Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of Russia -- five hours. 

Mr Nebenzya's remarks could also explain why U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo phoned Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov yesterday.

As we see Mr Nebenzya did not specify the number of security agencies involved in the alleged transfers and didn't identify them by name. But I'd say it's a good guess that if the subject arose during their conversation Mr Pompeo would have asked Mr Lavrov for names of the agencies.

Now isn't it a criminal violation for a government agency to transfer weapons to a group that's designated a terrorist organization by the government? The U.S., at least, claims they transferred weapons to moderate rebels and couldn't be responsible if the rebels sold the weapons to a terrorist group, or had them taken away by terrorists. But the Russian envoy indicated the Kremlin has evidence of direct weapons transfers to Islamic State. So, just hazarding a guess, I'd assume it's a crime in any country that outlaws Islamic State if it can be proven in a court of law. However, given that security agencies are allegedly involved, it might be very hard to bring such prosecutions. 

Direct weapons transfers to a terrorist organization would certainly be a violation of international law. Would it be a war crime? I think families of the victims of Islamic State and indeed everyone with conscience would say so. 


No comments: