BBC Finds Crates of Saudi Weapons in Syrian Rebel Base

John Glaser, October 08, 2012

For several months now it has been known that the US is cooperating with its allies in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar to provide aid and weapons to the rebel fighters in Syria. While the US has sent “non-lethal” aid to the rebels – like money, communications gear, and intelligence – it was also sent the CIA to the Turkish-Syrian border to funnel weapons coming primarily from Saudi Arabia and Qatar to various rebels. In recent weeks, the Obama administration has redoubled these efforts, sending more spies to help organize the Syrian rebels and tens of millions more in aid.

As this has been happening, officials in Washington have expressed trepidation about sending weapons, given the fact that the rebels have committed war crimes and are increasingly fighting under the banner of al-Qaeda. Last week, the New York Times reported that these concerns prompted Saudi Arabia and Qatar to start to limit the weapons being provided to the rebels: “…they have been discouraged by the United States, which fears the heavier weapons could end up in the hands of terrorists.”

To some, it wasn’t clear whether the US and its clients in the Gulf were avidly committed to actually using the Syrian rebels as proxies to overthrow the Assad regime, or whether it was more of a PR campaign to show they were “doing something.”

Now up at the BBC, there is clear evidence that Saudi weapons are in fact making it to the rebels: “Three crates from an arms manufacturer – addressed to Saudi Arabia – have been seen in a base being used by rebel fighters in the city of Aleppo.” One BBC reporter on the ground in Aleppo snapped this photograph:

What was in the crates is unknown, says the BBC’s Ian Pannell, who has been in Aleppo, as is how they ended up there.

But their presence clearly suggests that someone in the Gulf is actively helping the rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, our correspondent says.

…Privately, opposition sources have confirmed to the BBC that they are receiving assistance from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The report from the Times that weapons to the rebels were somehow being limited suggests that its possible to be a little bit pregnant. The rebels are either receiving arms or they are not. The question of how much or what kind is immaterial to the moral and strategic implications of such a policy.

The United Nations has consistently objected to this “covert” arming of the rebels, saying it is not only wrong (because of who the rebels are and what they have done), but also that it is counterproductive in that it is fueling added violence. In July, UN rights chief Navi Pillay said “The ongoing provision of arms to the Syrian government and to its opponents feeds additional violence,” she said in the text of remarks made to the Security Council. “Any further militarization of the conflict must be avoided at all costs.” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon just reiterated this again, saying he was “deeply concerned” by the continued flow of arms to both sides, despite international embargoes. “I urge again those countries providing arms to stop doing so. Militarization only aggravates the situation,” he added.




42 Responses to “BBC Finds Crates of Saudi Weapons in Syrian Rebel Base”

  1. To be precise, the shipping tag on the container says the contents were originally addressed to the Saudi "Signal Corps", indicating that it may not be actual weapons in the container. More likely it is commo gear of some sort.

    However, the alleged source of the weapons is described as a Ukrainian company known for making "naval weapons and missile components", neither of which are likely useful to the insurgents.

    So we really don't know what is in there. What IS pretty much proved – confirmed – is that the Saudis are supplying the insurgents with something.

    Of course, the Saudis can always claim the stuff was stolen by "jihadists" (like the Saudis aren't…) and sold on the black market. After all, we always point out that Iran weapons allegedly found in Afghanistan or Iraq are probably black market weapons. What's good for the goose….

  2. Following Richard's lead, I looked them up and Dastan Engineering is not at all so limited in their military products. Check for yourselves: http://dastan-engineering.com

  3. According to the BBC, the Ukrainian firm Dastan, “specialises in naval weapons and missile complexes.”

  4. Wow, Swiss hand grenades and now crates 'o' mystery consigned to the Saudi Arabian Land Forces. Curious oh hell yes, curious quite curious. Evidently Dastan Engineering is Indian with outlets in the Kyrgyz Republic and the Ukraine. Golly, business must be booming. The Dastan Engineering website plays really soft and melodic warmongering tunes while one visits them. Oh yeah and here's their email address –
    e-mail: dastanengg.india@gmail.com
    Should in the very least offer them some thanks for making human slaughter a spectator sport.

  5. I have seen video of rebels using the very distinctive(and previously unseen among with Islamic insurgents)Austrian AUG assault rifle, which just happens to be used by SA. So they are definitely getting weapons as well.

  6. They also make portable anti-aircraft systems and anti-tank rocket systems. My oh my.

  7. CIA

  8. The CIA working with the Saudis to smuggle weapons to jihadist rebels. No way that could go wrong.

  9. It could go wrong of course but it don't matter. They aren't accountable to anyone. Himmler's SS in their prime never dreamt of weilding such power with absolute impunity as the CIA now does. They own the US government.

  10. Such a big box with 23Kgs…of weapons???

  11. "The report from the Times that weapons to the rebels were somehow being limited suggests that its possible to be a little bit pregnant." Pregnant?

  12. The zionist owns the US govt not the cia

  13. A carefully thought out description of zionist america "THE GREAT SATAN"

  14. [...] Antiwar [...]

  15. ^^^ Anti-semite idiot right here.

  16. These are the elements that us and eu representing as their allies in Middle East, a dictatorial regime and a feudalism in a Stone Age time wanting to change the Syrian government to as what they are, now if anyone having any doubt about Obama doctrine wanting to change the world into a Islamic feudal system say hi. Or send a email to White House ask why.

  17. Nice dovetail on the box other than that just more death on the way from those fun loving house of saud people

  18. [...] continue reading Share this:ShareFacebookTumblrEmailDiggPrintPinterestLinkedInRedditTwitterStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. [...]

  19. The photo shows the "Name and Place of Factory" as "LCW" in Lugansk, Ukraine.
    LCW almost certainly stands for Lugansk Cartridge Works.
    They make only ammunition, and machinery for manufacturing ammunition. So it's almost certain that the contents of the crates are ammo for AK47s or AK74s. http://www.lcw.lg.ua/index.php/en/

  20. I only hope that when everything is peaceful again in Syria, the Syrians will let the Saudis and the Qataris "taste the same medicine." And nobody wil blame them for arming dissidents in those two countries.

  21. The box says contents are fragile. Dastan makes signals equipment also. The big box would be neccessary to put in shockabsorbing materials, say styrofoam packing.I realize you all are anti-war, and I respect your position. But what is the world to do when Assad of Syria rules as a dictator. Peaceful protest works if the occupying power accepts it; for example, the British in India. Syria is a Hezbollah patron and it also occupied parts of Lebanon for many years. It freely interferes in the affairs of regional countries, so in a sense it is getting a taste of its own medicine.

  22. Well, isn't it true that Assad STARTED making changes and was willing to listen to people – and it is when he started making changes that they 'attacked'?? (Afraid that the transition would be peaceful??)

  23. Why not use the classic and put the weapons in bozes marked Bibles?

  24. Ravi,

    Either you're Hasbara, or you've absorbed the Zionist narrative — ie, drunk the Kool-aid.

    "…what is the world to do when Assad of Syria rules as a dictator?"

    The same thing the world does with the Saudis, Yemenis, Bahrainis, Qataris, Jordanians, etc. The West supports autocratic leaders the world over as "regional partners" when they toe the US line. When they don't, they're rebranded as "brutal dictators" and scheduled for overthrow. Syria had been a stable and peaceful and cooperative country for quite a while, but that ended when its destruction became convenient for the US/Israel as a way to weaken Iran.

    This is war on Islam by the terrorist US/Israel.

    So let me respond to your question, with a question….

    What is the world to do when the US/Israel attempts to rule the world through terrorism?

    Then you write, "Peaceful protest works if the occupying power accepts it", citing the British experience in India. The Indian independence movement spanned a quarter century, the British jailed Ghandi for years, and slaughtered/massacred Indians on occasion, cf Amritsar.

    In Syria as in Libya, the "peaceful protests" were transformed by the West into armed rebellions for Western gain.

    "Syria is a Hezbollah patron…"

    And Hezbollah is dedicated to defending Lebanon from US/Israeli aggression. Of course anyone with the audacity to defend itself against the Hegemon is branded a "terrorist". Well duh!

    "… and it also occupied parts of Lebanon for many years."

    As a constructive act not an act of aggression or imperialism as you would like to suggest, but rather at the invitation of the West as a means to stabilize Lebanon and end its civil war.

    "It freely interferes in the affairs of regional countries…" Setting aside the questionable inference of this assertion — ie "destructive" or "abusive" interference — what about the downright apocalyptic "interference" of the US, Israel, Europe, and the Western Arab puppet dictators? That is, Algeria and LIbya colonized, Palestine erased,the shah installed in Iran and the country looted, Iraq destroyed, Afghanistan savaged. And that's the short list.

    Put down the Kool-aid and get a clue

  25. "Your comment must be approved by the site admins before it will appear publicly."

    Why are we going through this again? And who is the person on staff who is responsible for this? After all these years you'd think I had established my bona fides.

  26. You all have been claiming since the beginning (what is it – a year and a half – or more?) that the Saudis were sending weapons, so you finally saw a box of something. I'm glad someone is helping them.

    I assume you'll have the same coverage of all the Iranian and Russian weapons sent to the Syrian regime? Yeah, right…

  27. Time for the People of Saudi Arabia to overthrow the family that has been raping their Land for centuries under American control. That would stop the flow of Saudi weapons into rebels hands all across the middle east.

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  30. To some, it wasn’t clear whether the US and its clients in the Gulf were avidly committed to actually using the Syrian rebels as proxies to overthrow the Assad regime, or whether it was more of a PR campaign to show they were “doing something.”

  31. [...] BBC Finds Crate of Saudi Weapons in Syrian Rebel Base (antiwar.com) [...]

  32. There really needs to be a reliable, consistent counter-news source who has the confidence and trust of US victim nations to get the straight scoop from their point of view. YARELER

  33. Iran-Contra do over cha-cha! Where are you Oliver North, the Obama needs you.
    "High crimes and murderous treason are, at times, necessary to protect Caesa

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