Home Page
 
news 26 Feb 13

Saudis Bought Croatian Arms to Help Syria Rebels

Saudi Arabia has been supplying Syrian rebels with infantry weapons from Croatia in its drive to topple the regime of Bashar al-Assad, The New York Times has reported.

The New York Times

The New York Times reported on Monday that Saudi Arabia has paid for a "large purchase of infantry weapons" from Croatia to help anti-government fighters in Syria.

Citing unnamed US and Western officials, the purchase, which was part of an "undeclared surplus" of arms left over from the Balkan wars in the 1990s, allegedly began reaching anti-regime fighters via Jordan in December.

As a result, the weapons contributed to the rebels’ small tactical gains this winter against the army and militias loyal to President Bashar as-Assad.

Since then, the US newspaper added, "multiple planeloads" of weapons have left Croatia, with one official quoted as saying that the shipments included "thousands of rifles and hundreds of machine guns," as well as an "unknown quantity of ammunition".

Danijela Barisic, a spokeswoman for the Croatian foreign ministry, told the Times that since the start of the so-called Arab Spring, the country had not sold any weapons to either Saudi Arabia or Syrian rebels. Saudi and Jordanian officials declined to comment, the newspaper added.

If it has shipped arms to Syrian rebels, Croatia has violated its own decision to join the EU sanctions against Syria, which ban the sale of weapons to any side in the conflict.

The newspaper quoted one senior US official as describing the shipments as "a maturing of the opposition's logistical pipeline".

Rebels have been fighting Assad's regime since an uprising erupted in March 2011. According to the latest data of the UN, the fighting has claimed 70,000 lives.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

albanian-former-minister-takes-support-after-charges-on-drug-trafficking-10-20-2017
20 Oct 17

Albania Parliament Stalls on Allowing MP's Arrest

Albania's parliament has postponed a decision on whether to allow the arrest of MP Saimir Tahiri on drugs smuggling charges until Saturday.

20 Oct 17

Winds of Change

20 Oct 17

‘Political War’ in Moldova Threatens Army

20 Oct 17

Kosovo Readies for Sunday's Local Elections

20 Oct 17

Belgrade Museum of Contemporary Art to Reopen

Premium Selection

political-war-in-moldova-threatens-army-10-20-2017
20 Oct 17

‘Political War’ in Moldova Threatens Army

Moldova's military forces could be the next collateral damage from the country’s growing internal political crisis, experts warn.

louder-than-guns-croatia-s-wartime-patriotic-singers-10-18-2017
20 Oct 17

‘Louder than Guns’: Croatia’s Patriotic Wartime Singers

A new documentary about huge number of Croatian patriotic songs recorded during the 1990s conflict shows how musicians volunteered their talents to support the ‘Homeland War’ for independence.

19 Oct 17

EU Mulls Lower Roaming Charges for Balkans

17 Oct 17

Referendum Pledge Haunts Bosnian Serb Supremo