The role of the US in Arms Transfers to Armed Groups in Syria

Since 2012, weapons and ammunition have arrived massively to the many armed groups active in Syria, notably from the Balkans and passing through neighbouring countries which, like Saudi Arabia, claim to be the final recipients. Far from being just a case of unscrupulous exporters and importers ignoring the re-exporting ban, it appears that the United States is at the heart of these transfers.

Through two programs – the first implemented by the CIA for the benefit of opponents to the Damascus government; the second organized by the Pentagon to arm the opponents to Islamic State – the United States have indeed coordinated, facilitated and financed billions of dollars of arms purchases in third countries and supervised their transport to the Syrian rebel groups they wish to support. However, this flood of weapons has produced many unintended effects, including the supply of jihadist groups and fighting between factions armed, some by the CIA, others by the Pentagon.

Crédit photo : missile TOW américain utilisé par des combattants de l'Etat islamique