Arms, munitions worth 1 billion euros smuggled from Balkans to Syria: report

Two research institutes issued a report on Thursday saying that guns, ammunition, explosive devices, explosive materials and many other kinds of weaponry were smuggled from the Balkan countries to Syria in recent years and reached the hands of terrorist organizations. The arms deals estimated to be worth one billion euros included antitank missiles, grenade launchers and mortars. The organizations that uncovered the shipments and the routes were the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, based in Serbia, and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.
The research claims that the materiel originated in Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Montenegro, Slovakia, Serbia and Romania. It says that starting in 2012 the eight countries sold 1.2 billion euros worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and the UAE, but the weapons found their way to the various terrorist organizations operating in Syria. Balkan countries had not sold weaponry to Middle Eastern armies until the Syrian civil war broke out. Photographic evidence posted on social networks reveal that the arms are now in the hands of Ansar al-Sham, organizations that swore allegiance to Al Qaeda, the Nusra Front, Islamic State and even the Syrian army. The research said that the shipments were frequently sent to the Middle East from the airports in Belgrade, Sofia and Bratislava.

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