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Balkans war arms recycled for battle to topple Assad

Saudi Arabia has opened a new arms supply route to the opposition forces in Syria, financing shipments of weapons from Croatia in an attempt to break the deadlock in the two-year civil war.

Observers have noticed infantry weapons, such as grenade-launchers, recoilless guns, rocket launchers and anti-tank systems, all made in the former Yugoslav state, in the hands of the rebel forces in recent months.

Now it has emerged that Saudi Arabia has been behind the secret operation to transfer the weapons, all left over from the Balkan wars of the 1990s, from Croatia into Syria.

The CIA is playing a key role in monitoring the movement of arms into rebel hands in Syria, and is likely to be ensuring that they reach the mainstream groups rather than jihadist militants fighting alongside them.

The problem for the Syrian rebels is that however many new weapons they receive from their regional supporters, the Assad regime is still being supplied with a never-ending flow of arms, principally from Iran.

A Croatian newspaper recently reported that there had been an unusual number of Jordanian cargo planes arriving in Zagreb, indicating that Jordan may be part of the new arms pipeline.

Croatia has been awash with arms since the Balkan wars ended in 1995. The Croatian Government denied that there have been any such shipments.

[Source: The Times, London, 27Feb13]

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small logoThis document has been published on 04Mar13 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.