Sourced and translated from http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=2931829
‘Пентагон попался на лжи о поставках оружия в Сирию’
The Pentagon gave weapons – supposedly purchased in the Czech Republic for their own use to anti-government forces in Syria. This was announced by the Czech Centre for Investigative Journalism on Wednesday. The centre was working on this case in collaboration with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project
The Pentagon has bought 71 million dollars’ worth of obsolete weapons in the Czech Republic, as well as in Georgia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine. These included AK-47s, grenade launchers, mortars, and more.
US trading partners claimed that the Americans were buying these weapons for their own needs. In fact, the weapons were destined for Syria. They were used to arm terror cells of the Islamic state, who are fighting against the Syrian army and are banned in Russia and other countries, reports RIA Novosti.
The CCIJ report says that, for each export of arms, exporters must provide a series of documents to obtain an export license. This license must be approved by the both the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. An important document is the ‘end user certificate’. This should guarantee that weapons will not, for example, fall into the hands of terrorists.
As noted by the CCIJ, the Pentagon cited false information in this document. Specifically, arguing that the ‘end user’ of the purchased weapons would be the United States Armed Forces.
In the course of the investigation, it became clear that Eastern European countries, including the Czech Republic, have authorized the sale of over 1 billion euros of weapons in four years. These weapons have gone on to a number of Middle Eastern states, which have subsequently sent them to Syria.
Meanwhile, the German Foreign Ministry and German Ministry of Economy said that they were not aware of information about US-led deliveries of weapons from Eastern Europe to Syrian rebels, which took place through an air base in Ramstein, Germany. “We do not know about it,” – said the speaker of the Foreign Ministry, Martin Schaefer.
The representative for the Ministry of Economy said that the government has no knowledge of what is happening, and is proceeding on the basis that the US is subject to German law.
The newspaper “Süddeutsche Zeitung” reported that the US military has been using their base in Germany to organize weapons deals with Syria. The US has been doing so without permission from the German side. However, this is stipulated by German legislation.
The newspaper also claims that the CIA is conducting an operation code-named “Timber Sycamore.” This operation is being carried out with the objective of training and equipping the “Free Syrian Army” and other groups leading the fight against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
To this end, American private military companies are buying up Soviet-style weapons in Eastern Europe. This aids in the plausible deniability of CIA involvement in programs supporting militant groups.
Reporters have traced back the supply routes. The weapons were produced in factories in Serbia, Bosnia, the Czech Republic and Kazakhstan. They were then shipped to Turkey and Jordan through ports in Romania and Bulgaria, as well as through the US base in Ramstein, Germany.
Human rights activists have repeatedly criticized the US’ use of their air base in Ramstein. They believe that Washington is in violation of both German and international law. For example, through the Ramstein base, the US conducts UAV operations, particularly in Afghanistan or Somalia.
Featured image: Airmen from the 37th Airlift Squadron which is part of the 86th Airlift Wing on Ramstein Air Force Base, Ramstein, Germany load supplies onto a C-130J Super Hercules, Feb.12, 2012. Unit: Combat Camera Detachment USEUCOM