Washington, Riyadh diverted Balkan arms exports to ISIS: report

EU-backed weapons inspectors have discovered that arms deliveries from Central and Eastern Europe are routinely diverted to Syria and into the hands of ISIS.
ISIS fighters

The British-based Conflict Armament Research reported that those weapons make up a third of ISIS’s arsenal, confirming the findings of Balkan Investigative Reporting Network’s (BIRN) series of investigations into weapons transfers to Syria, Balkan Insight reported.

BIRN found earlier that two major supply-lines, funded by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, have breached international legal agreements on the arms trade by moving large quantities of Soviet-style weapons from the Balkan states to militants in Syria.

According to the Conflict Armament Research, more than half of the terrorist group’s new weapons in Syria came from Bulgaria.

ISIS militants have also received equipment from Romania and Serbia, the report said.

Damien Spleeters, Conflict Armament Research’s head of operations for Iraq and Syria, said the weapons had been bought by Washington and Riyadh, often under a legally binding end-user certificate, which guarantees that the arms will not be diverted to another country.

“As far as our evidence shows, the diverters [Saudi and the U.S.] knew what was going on in terms of the risk of supplying weapons to groups in the region,” Spleeters said.

He further said the United States and Saudi Arabia are “systematically” breaching EUC, calling for Balkan states to review all evidence and make the right decision.