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We are political scientists, editorial engineers, and radio show developers drawn together by a shared vision of bringing Alternative news through digital mediums that evangelize our civil liberties.
Please subscribe for the latest shows daily!
BY RORY WOOD ON JANUARY 21, 2018
A damning report by the EU-funded Conflict Armament Research has found that the majority of weapons that ended-up in the hands of Daesh/ISIS were purchased from Eastern European stockpiles by the United States or Saudi Arabia and transferred to opposition militias in Syria. In many cases there is clear evidence to suggest that the arms were transferred into ISIS possession in less than a month, as US-backed groups amalgamated into ISIS or the weapons were sold on a thriving black market.
A significant proportion of the weapons examined were unauthorised for retransfer, meaning that they had End User Clauses for US and Saudi military or police use that were quickly violated, not even being shipped to their country of authorised usage in many cases.
One item inspected by CAR in May 2015 was a Bulgarian PG-7T 40 mm rocket. The Government of Bulgaria confirmed that it exported the item to the US Department of the Army through the US company Kiesler Police Supply. The application for the export licence was accompanied by the original EUC issued by the US Department of the Army (with a non-re-export clause) as well as a delivery verification certificate. The rocket ultimately ended up with IS forces near Al Hasakah, before YPG forces liberated the town and sent the rocket to CAR for examination.
Cases like this go on and on with various rocket launchers, explosives and assault rifles of predominantly Bulgarian and Romanian manufacture, but with one US importer coming up every time: Kiesler Police Supply.
Kiesler Police Supply was incorporated in the US state of Indiana in 1975 as Kiesler Hardware & Supply. The company changed its name to Kiesler Police Supply in 1980 in order to begin dealing primarily in firearms and ammunition. On its website, Kiesler Police Supply only advertises itself as providing equipment to US national law enforcement agencies. However, the company has been contracted in the past to supply weapons to Iraq. In 2004, Kiesler Police Supply was awarded a multi-million dollar contract to provide weapons such as AK-pattern assault rifles and ammunition to Iraqi security forces.36 On 4 October 2016, CAR called Kiesler Police Supply to request further information regarding the multiple weapon transfers described in this report. The company declined to comment. On 20 October 2016, CAR emailed and faxed an information request for all the items traced to Kiesler Police Supply. The company has yet to respond to CAR’s request for information.
As CAR beautifully put it, their ‘findings are a stark reminder of the contradictions inherent in supplying weapons into armed conflicts in which multiple competing and overlapping non-state armed groups operate.’ In other words, only a fucking moron would be unable to predict that pumping weapons into the hands of farmers living in ISIS territory would result in anything other than ISIS militants gaining possession of shiny new toys. Or, more conceivably, this wasn’t a strategic error on behalf of the US, and arming ISIS in order to destabilise the regime of the uncooperative Bashar Al-Assad was part of the plan all along.
Read More: https://amityunderground.com/international-arms-watchdog-finds-that-most-isis-weaponry-was-purchased-by-the-united-states-and-saudi-arabia-before-being-shipped-to-opposition-forces-in-syria-and-iraq-isis-arms-kieslerpolicesupply/
By Ron Paul
Monday January 1, 2018
Happy New Year! We always approach a new year with anticipation, hope, and also some worries. Last year was one of the strangest political years I have seen in some time. A new Republican president spent his first year pursuing more or less the same foreign policy as his Democratic predecessor and the Democratic Party spent the year looking under every rock in the US for a “Russian connection” or any other reason to see him impeached over it.
The neocon-dominated foreign policy establishment on both the Left and Right were so furious that candidate Trump dared suggest we could get along with our “enemies” overseas that they jumped on the impeachment bandwagon — even though once he became president Donald Trump filled his Administration with neocons and began dropping bombs.
Like “peace candidate” Obama, Donald Trump quickly dropped his “get along with others” rhetoric to become just another aggressive, interventionist US president. He slammed missiles into Syria over unproven claims of a chemical attack, he built US military bases on Syrian soil, he dropped the “mother of all bombs” on Afghanistan, he continued helping Saudi Arabia destroy Yemen, he expanded the US military occupation of Africa, he put NATO troops on the border of Russia, did his best to tear up the Iran nuclear agreement and in fact may have just launched a “color revolution” on Iran, and continued rattling sabers over China’s presence in the South China Sea.
That tells us quite a bit about what’s wrong with American political life these days. The “opposition party” doesn’t really oppose the other party’s policies. They are just angry that other the party is in power. With no real philosophical or policy differences, politics is essentially pointless. It is a game of spoils for the well-connected and little more than a sporting event for the rest of the country. Everyone wants to see his team come out on top.
Still, I have much hope for 2018. I know we are continuing to make steady progress waking up the American people to the idea that ideas do matter! Our interventionist foreign policy, responsible for so much misery around the world, is not inevitable. Our destructive economic and monetary policies, which enrich the well-connected while impoverishing the rest of us, are not inevitable. The further destruction of our right to privacy, to live our lives as we see fit, to pursue our own happiness without the government looking over our shoulder, is not inevitable. We can turn this around!
In 2018 I strongly believe more Americans will wake up to the seriousness of the total debt the US is facing and will begin blaming Washington for pumping up the warfare-welfare state. I believe more Americans will understand the role of the Federal Reserve in facilitating this ocean of debt. We will continue to make progress toward ending the Fed!
While the media loves to tell us all about how the millennials are attracted to discredited ideas like Bernie Sanders’ socialism and the dead-end of cultural Marxism, I believe 2018 will demonstrate that young people are actually attracted to the ideas of liberty more than ever. Liberty is a new idea and a winning idea, while the twin tyrannies of socialism and cultural Marxism should remain in same dustbin of history they were tossed into more than 25 years ago.
In 2018 my Institute for Peace and Prosperity will be reaching more people than ever with plenty of new projects, events, and of course our daily Liberty Report! Yes, we will turn this around. Liberty will prevail!
The study revealed that in one notable instance, a weapons shipment of advanced missile systems switched hands from US intelligence to “moderate” Syrian groups to ISIS in only a two month time period.
Years late to the party, mainstream media outlets like USA Today, Reuters, and Buzzfeed are just out with “breaking” and “exclusive” stories detailing how a vast arsenal of weapons sent to Syria by the CIA in cooperation with US allies fuelled the rapid growth of ISIS. Buzzfeed’s story entitled, Blowback: ISIS Got A Powerful Missile The CIA Secretly Bought In Bulgaria, begins by referencing “a new report on how ISIS built its arsenal highlights how the US purchased munitions, intended for Syrian rebels, that ended up in the hands of the terrorist group.”
The original study that Buzzfeed and other media are referencing comes from a UK-based independent weapons research organization called Conflict Armament Research (CAR) which has had a team of weapons and munitions experts on the ground in the Middle East for years examining arms and equipment recovered from ISIS and other terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria. Using serial numbers, crate shipping markings, and all available forensics data, the CAR experts began finding that as early as 2013 to 2014 much of the Islamic State’s advanced weapons systems as well as small arms were clearly sourced to the United States and the West.
“Supplies of materiel into the Syrian conflict from foreign parties – notably the United States and Saudi Arabia – have indirectly allowed IS to obtain substantial quantities of anti-armor ammunition,” states the CAR report. “These weapons include anti-tank guided weapons and several varieties of rocket with tandem warheads, which are designed to defeat modern reactive armor.”
Image source: Conflict Armament Research
A PG-9 missile modified to fit a Model 2 recoilless launcher system. Produced in 2016 in Romania, exported to the United States and documented in Mosul in September 2017. Source: Conflict Armament Research
The study further reveals that in one notable instance, a weapons shipment of advanced missile systems switched hands from US intelligence to “moderate” Syrian groups to ISIS in only a two month time period. Though the report is now evoking shock and confusion among pundits, the same weapons research group has actually published similar findings and conclusions going years back into the Syrian conflict.
For example, a previous 2014 Conflict Armament Research report found that Balkan origin anti-tank rockets recovered from ISIS fighters appeared identical to those shipped in 2013 to Syrian rebel forces as part of a CIA program.
And CAR’s damning publications presenting such inconvenient empirical data have been consistent for years, yet were largely ignored and suppressed by analysts and mainstream media who were too busy cheerleading US support for Syrian “rebels” cast as romantic revolutionaries in their struggle to topple Assad and his secular nationalist government. Of course, it’s an old story if you’ve been reading Zero Hedge or the profusion of independent outlets that have long reported the truth about the covert “dirty war” in Syria since nearly the beginning.
Even though it’s now suddenly acceptable and fashionable to admit – as does one recent BBC headline (“The Jihadis You Pay For”) – that the US and Saudi covert program in Syria fuelled the rise of ISIS and various other al-Qaeda linked terror groups, it must be remembered that only a short time ago the mainstream media openly mocked analysts and writers who dared make the connection between the West’s massive covert Syrian rebel aid programs and the al-Qaeda insurgents who so clearly benefited.
When news of the 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency report broke, which described what it called a “Salafist principality” or “an Islamic State” as a strategic asset or buffer in Syria that could be used by the Western coalition “in order to isolate the Syrian regime”, American media outlets dismissed what was labelled a “conspiracy theory” at the time in spite of the hard evidence of a US military intelligence report being made available.
The Daily Beast for example mocked what it called “The ISIS Conspiracy Theory that Ate the Web” – describing those analyzing the Pentagon intelligence document as far-right and far-left loons. This occurred even as the document was taken very seriously and analyzed in-depth by some of the world’s foremost Middle East experts and investigative journalists in foreign outlets like the London Review of Books, The Guardian, Der Spiegal , as well as RT and Al Jazeera.
Daily Beast fail from 2015
And yet now once again “conspiracy theory” has been confirmed as “conspiracy fact”: Conflict Armament Research’s new report out this week is the result of a three-year ground investigation which compiled findings from 40,000 military items recovered from ISIS between the years 2014 and 2017. Its conclusions are scientific, exhaustive, and irrefutable.
International weapon supplies to factions in the Syrian conflict have significantly augmented the quantity and quality of weapons available to IS forces. Read more here http://www.conflictarm.com/download-file/?report_id=2568&file_id=2574 …
The extensive report confirms what former MI6 spy and British diplomat Alastair Crooke once stated – that the CIA established the basis of a “jihadi Wal-Mart” of sorts – to which ISIS had immediate and easy access. Crooke noted that the weapons program was set up with “plausible deniability” in mind, which would allow its American intelligence sponsors to be shielded from any potential future legal prosecution or public embarrassment. Crooke noted in a 2015 BBC interview that, “The West does not actually hand the weapons to al-Qaida, let alone to ISIS…, but the system they’ve constructed leads precisely to that end.”
This is what enables Buzzfeed, USA Today, and others to report the bombshell findings yet continue to soft peddle the significance by emphasizing things like “weaknesses in oversight and regulation” while also highlighting the “accidental” nature of US-supplied missiles “ending up” in the hands of ISIS terrorists.
Buzzfeed’s coverage of the CAR weapons report is summarized in the article introduction:
A guided anti-tank missile ended up in the hands of ISIS terrorists less than two months after the US government purchased it in late 2015 — highlighting weaknesses in the oversight and regulation of America’s covert arms programs, according to information published Thursday by an arms monitoring group called Conflict Armament Research (CAR).
Though the report says the missile was purchased by the US Army using a contractor, BuzzFeed News has learned that the real customer appears to have been the CIA.It was part of the spy agency’s top secret operation to arm rebels in Syria to fight the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The missile ended up in the hands of ISIS fighters in Iraq, according to the report.
The CIA declined to comment on the Obama-era program to back Syrian rebels, which was canceled by President Trump in July. The Pentagon did not provide information in time for publication.
The missile is one piece of a critical puzzle that is being solved only now, with ISIS on the run: How did the vast terror group arm its war machine? CAR spent three years tracking ISIS weapons as they were recovered by Iraqi, Syrian, and Kurdish forces — and found that what happened to the missile was no aberration. Indeed, the terror group managed to divert “substantial quantities of anti-armour ammunition” from weapons provided to Syrian opposition forces by the US or Saudi Arabia.
But some astute observers might notice the significance of the timeline related to the CIA purchase of one of the anti-tank missiles examined: “A guided anti-tank missile ended up in the hands of ISIS terrorists less than two months after the US government purchased it in late 2015.” As highlighted previously, the CAR team of experts had already documented the trend of CIA weapons delivered to the Syrian battlefield going to ISIS fighters as early as September of 2014. Beyond this 2014 study, a seemingly endless stream of articles going back years published in independent and international media have underscored the reality of ISIS growing and thriving because of Western and Gulf state covert weapons shipments.
This means that CIA and government analysts knew full well where the weapons were going in real time, yet continued with the program anyway. As former Pentagon intelligence chief Michael Flynn told Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hasan in a stunningly frank summer 2015 interview (significantly before Flynn was part of the Trump campaign), the White House’s sponsoring of radical jihadists (that would emerge as ISIS and al-Nusra/HTS) against the Syrian government was most certainly “a willful decision.”
Thus General Flynn in the summer of 2015, speaking as recently retired military intelligence officer, warned in no uncertain terms that US-supplied weapons in Syria were going to ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other jihadists. This was so well known at the time that it could be openly stated by a retired high ranking official an a major international program. Flynn also said something similar to both Seymour Hersh and the New York Times in 2015.
But what did the CIA and allied intelligence agencies do? They continued arming the jihadist insurgency in Syria in their efforts to oust Assad. This was indeed “a willful decision” as Flynn affirmed and not mere “weaknesses in oversight and regulation” as Buzzfeed would have us believe.
Two days ago, when we previewed the first ever visit by a Saudi King to the Russian capital – a move which prompted Bloomberg to call Russian president Putin the “new master of the Middle East” – we pointed out that according to Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, a joint Russian-Saudi fund to invest in the energy sector will be announced during the forthcoming visit of the Saudi King to Moscow, and that the preliminary agreement to establish the $1 billion fund has already been reached.
Fast forward to today when diplomatic history was made on Thursday, when Putin met with the King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud – the first state visit to Russia by a reigning Saudi monarch – and the launch of a new level of relations between the countries, as well as billions in new energy-focused deals (for more on the strategic implications from the summit, please read this).
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Russian president Vladimir Putin, Oct.5, 2017
The Saudi monarch’s visit comes after decades of strained relations. More recently, tensions were high over the war in Syria. Russia and Iran have staunchly backed Syrian President Assad while Saudi Arabia has supported the Sunni rebels fighting to oust him. However, relations began to improve in recent years and Salman’s heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has held several meetings with Putin.
There are also common points: the Saudi kingdom, much like Russia, has been hit by the fall in oil prices since mid-2014. Despite regional disagreements, the world’s two largest oil-producers found common ground on energy policy in November, when they led a deal between OPEC and non-OPEC states to cut production in a bid to shore up crude prices. So far that deal is holding and prices have recovered slightly to above $50 a barrel. In an apparent reference to the output deal, Salman told Putin on Thursday that Saudi Arabia is “eager to continue the positive cooperation between our nations in the world oil market, which fosters global economic growth.”
After the meeting, as noted before, the two countries launched a joint energy investment fund worth $1 billion, which could include investments in natural gas projects and petrochemical plants. Among the deal signed, Saudi state oil firm Aramco, the world’s biggest energycompany, signed a deal with Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and gas processing and petrochemicals company Sibur on joint projects in the area of oil refining. Amin Al-Nasser, Aramco chief executive said: “This marks a new milestone in business relations and partnerships with our counterparts in Russia. The visit by The Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to Russia will further enhance ties and will foster collaboration among Saudi and Russian companies on various fronts.”
This video was deleted from Youtube. Not sure if it will work on here but here goes….
A months-long investigation which tracked and exposed a massive covert weapons shipment network to terror groups in Syria via diplomatic flights originating in the Caucuses and Eastern Europe under the watch of the CIA and other intelligence agencies has resulted in the interrogation and firing of the Bulgarian journalist who first broke the story. This comes as the original report is finally breaking into mainstream international coverage.
Investigative reporter Dilyana Gaytandzhieva authored a bombshell report for Trud Newspaper, based in Sofia, Bulgaria, which found that an Azerbaijan state airline company was regularly transporting tons of weaponry to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Turkey under diplomatic cover as part of the CIA covert program to supply anti-Assad fighters in Syria. Those weapons, Gaytandzhieva found, ended up in the hands of ISIS and al-Qaeda terrorists in Iraq and Syria.
While it’s long been understood that the US-Gulf-NATO coalition arming rebels inside Syria facilitated the rapid rise of the Islamic State as the group had steady access to a “jihadi Wal-Mart” of weapons (in the words of one former spy and British diplomat), the Trud Newspaper report is the first to provide exhaustive documentation detailing the precise logistical chain of the weapons as they flowed from their country of origin to the battlefield in Syria and Iraq. Gaytandzhieva even traveled to Aleppo where she filmed and examined labeled weapons shipping containers held in underground jihadist storehouses.
The Bulgaria-based journalist obtained and published dozens of secret internal memos which were leaked to her by an anonymous source as part of the report. The leaked documents appear to be internal communications between the Bulgarian government and Azerbaijan’s Embassy in Sofia detailing flight plans for Silk Way Airlines, which was essentially operating an “off the books” weapons transport service (not subject to inspections or tax under diplomatic cover) for the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), Saudi Arabia, Israel, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. Silk Way Airlines has been the subject of other recent investigations involving weapons supplies for the Saudi war on Yemen. In addition, the military monitoring site Balkan Insight has exposed similar weapons cargo flights in and out of neighboring Serbia.
But perhaps the more explosive finding involves private American companies contracting with the US government to help train and equip militants in Syria. An investigative series by Buzzfeed – the first of which was published in 2015 – named military contractor Purple Shovel LLC as the recipient of two no-bid contracts totaling more $50 million as part of the US train and equip program for Syria. Gaytandzhieva’s report definitively links Purple Shovel and other private American military contractors to the Azerbaijan Silk Way Airlines shipments. One leaked memo includes a cargo manifest for multiple tons of anti-tank grenades purchased in Bulgaria by Purple Shovel which were ostensibly designated for the official consignee – the Ministry of Defense of Ajerbaijan – but which never made it to Ajerbaijan. The documents, however, reveal that the military cargo was offloaded at Turkey’s Incirlik air base, which is one of the US and NATO’s main command centers for covert operations in Syria.
Though Gaytandzhieva’s report is months old and began through a series of smaller investigations, it gained little traction in Western or international press, even though it was promoted on social media and discussed among some of the world’s foremost experts on Syria and the Middle East. However, on Sunday Qatar-based Al Jazeera featured the story while reporting the shocking news that Gaytandzhieva had been interrogated by Bulgarian authorities before being fired from her newspaper:
Gaytandzhieva said on Thursday in a tweet that she was fired from her job at Trud after she was interrogated by the Bulgarian national security which tried to find out her sources.
She said she first got suspicious of the weapons transferred to Syria when she found Bulgarian-made weapons at the hands “terrorists” in Aleppo while reporting on the Syrian war there.
She said that she then traced those weapons to its Bulgarian manufacturer only to find out that those weapons were legally exported to Saudi Arabia, which in turn supplied it to “terrorists” in Syria.
Al Jazeera is now belatedly highlighting the story in the midst of the current Qatari-Saudi diplomatic war which has resulted in a general airing of dirty laundry as each side continues to accuse the other of supporting terrorism. Regardless, Al Jazeera’s coverage constitutes the first time this story has entered the mainstream. While we’ve reported the recent Trump decision to end the CIA covert program of regime change in Syria, it appears the apparatus for external weapons shipments to jihadists in Syria remains in place through the continuing Silk Way Airlines weapons pipeline. As Al Jazeera reports:
Speaking to Al Jazeera by phone on Sunday from Bulgaria, Gaytandzhieva said: “Saudi Arabia, UAE and the US must stop using the cover of Silk Way Airlines diplomatic flights to supply Eastern European weapons which end up in the hands of terrorists around the world. Diplomatic flights are exempt from checks and inspection.”
Tracking weapons from Eastern Europe to Syrian al-Qaeda: December 2016 Bulgarian news broadcast by Dilyana Gaytandzhieva. Brief English commentary begins at 1:00 mark. The report investigates Bulgarian origin rockets and weaponry said to have been in possession of Nusra Front (AQ in Syria). Leaked documents would later confirm Bulgarian weapons shipped to Saudi Arabia as part of the covert Syria program.
Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) also carried out their own lengthy investigations which are consistent with Trud News journalist Gaytandzhieva’s findings. Infographic source: Balkan Insight
The CIA program relied heavily on US ally Saudi Arabia to arm anti-Assad jihadists, and while it appears that the White House recently ended the CIA side of things, there’s no evidence to suggest that Saudi Arabia or other participating allied countries ever ceased or even slowed their part of the operations. Also, given that both the CIA and Pentagon contract with private firms acting as middle men to get weapons to the Syrian battlefield, it is uncertain if all aspects of the CIA program have really been shut down. Historically, the CIA has sometimes farmed out legally questionable activities to private contractors for the sake of ‘plausible deniability’. Furthermore, the Pentagon side of the program, which supplies Kurdish and Arab groups in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) appears to be ramping up of late.
Given the latest development of Trud Newspaper firing its own journalist and Bulgarian authorities attempting to locate her sources, it is entirely possible and likely that pressure is building for Trud to remove the story from its website. The new Al Jazeera story has brought fresh international attention to Gaytandzhieva’s findings, which is sure to increase the controversy.
Below are excerpts from the original Trud report with images of select leaked documents. The original report contains dozens of downloadable leaked memos which were translated with contents summarized by Dilyana Gaytandzhieva.
Government docs leaked by hackers (“Anonymous Bulgaria”) reveal weapons pipeline to terrorists in Syria:
According to these documents, Silk Way Airlines offered diplomatic flights to private companies and arms manufacturers from the US, Balkans, and Israel, as well as to the militaries of Saudi Arabia, UAE, and US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), and the military forces of Germany and Denmark in Afghanistan and of Sweden in Iraq. Diplomatic flights are exempt of checks, air bills, and taxes, meaning that Silk Way airplanes freely transported hundreds of tons of weapons to different locations around the world without regulation. They made technical landings with stays varying from a few hours to up to a day in intermediary locations without any logical reasons such as needing to refuel the planes.
U.S. sends $1 billion worth of weapons
Among the main customers of the “diplomatic flights for weapons” service provided by Silk Way Airlines are American companies, which supply weapons to the US army and US Special Operations Command. The common element in these cases is that they all supply non-US standard weapons; hence, the weapons are not used by the US forces.
According to the register of federal contracts, over the last 3 years American companies were awarded $1billion contracts it total under a special US government program for non-US standard weapon supplies. All of them used Silk Way Airlines for the transport of weapons. In some cases when Silk Way was short of aircrafts due to a busy schedule, Azerbaijan Air Force aircrafts transported the military cargo, although weapons never reached Azerbaijan.
The documents leaked from the Embassy include shocking examples of weapon transport. A case in point: on 12th May 2015 an aircraft of Azerbaijan Air Forces carried 7.9 tons of PG-7V and 10 tons of PG-9V the supposed destination via the route Burgas (Bulgaria)-Incirlik (Turkey)-Burgas-Nasosny (Azerbaijan). The consignor was the American company Purple Shovel, and the consignee – the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan. According to the documents, however, the military cargo was offloaded at Incirlik military base and never reached the consignee. The weapons were sold to Purple Shovel by Alguns, Bulgaria, and manufactured by Bulgaria’s VMZ military plant.
According to the federal contracts registry, in December of 2014 USSOCOM signed a $26.7 million contract with Purple Shovel. Bulgaria was indicated as the country of origin of the weapons.
US covert program sent Bulgarian weapons to Al Qaeda via private military contractor
On 6 June 2015, a 41-year old American national Francis Norvello, an employee of Purple Shovel, was killed in a blast when a rocket-propelled grenade malfunctioned at a military range near the village of Anevo in Bulgaria. Two other Americans and two Bulgarians were also injured. The US Embassy to Bulgaria then released a statement announcing that the U.S. government contractors were working on a U.S. military program to train and equip moderate rebels in Syria. Which resulted in the U.S. Ambassador to Sofia to be immediately withdrawn from her post. They very same weapons as those supplied by Purple Shovel were not used by moderate rebels in Syria. In December of last year while reporting on the battle of Aleppo as a correspondent for Bulgarian media I found and filmed 9 underground warehoused full of heavy weapons with Bulgaria as their country of origin. They were used by Al Nusra Front (Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria designated as a terrorist organization by the UN).
Saudi Arabia – sponsor and arms distributor
Besides the USA, another country that has purchased huge quantities of Eastern-European weapons and exported them on Silk Way Airlines diplomatic flights is Saudi Arabia. In 2016 and 2017, there were 23 diplomatic flights carrying weapons from Bulgaria, Serbia and Azerbaijan to Jeddah and Riyadh. The consignees were VMZ military plant and Transmobile from Bulgaria, Yugoimport from Serbia, and CHIHAZ from Azerbaijan.
The Kingdom does not buy those weapons for itself, as the Saudi army used only western weapons and those weapons are not compatible with its military standard. Therefore, the weapons transported on diplomatic flights end up in the hands of the terrorist militants in Syria and Yemen that Saudi Arabia officially admits supporting.
On 5 March 2016, an Azerbaijan Air Force aircraft carried 1700 pcs. RPG-7 (consignor: Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan) and 2500 pcs. PG-7VM (consignor: Transmobile Ltd., Bulgaria) for the Defense Ministry of Saudi Arabia. Diplomatic flights from Burgas Airport to Prince Sultan Airport on 18 and 28 February 2017 each carried a further 5080 psc. 40 mm PG-7V for RPG-7 and 24 978 psc. RGD-5. The weapons were exported by Transmobile, Bulgaria to the Ministry of Defense of Saudi Arabia. Such munitions and RPG-7 originating in Bulgaria can often be seen in videos filmed and posted by the Islamic State on their propaganda channels.
Weapons on Silk Way flight manifests appear on the Syrian battlefield months after arrival in Turkey and Saudi Arabia
The 41.2-ton cargo from Baku and Belgrade included: 7.62 mm cartridges, 12 pcs. sniper rifles, 25 pcs. M12 “Black Spear” caliber 12.7x108mm, 25 psc. RBG 40×46 mm/6M11, and 25 pcs. Coyote machine gun 12.7×108 mm with tripods. The same heavy machine gun appeared in videos and photos posted online by militant groups in Idlib and the province of Hama in Syria a few months later. The aircraft also carried: 1999 psc. M70B1 7.62×39 mm and 25 psc. M69A 82 mm. On 26 February 2016, a video featuring same M69A 82 mm weapons was posted on YouTube by a militant group calling itself Division 13 and fighting north of Aleppo.
Interestingly, the aircraft that carried the same type of weapons landed in Diyarbakir (Turkey), 235 km away from the border with Syria. Another type of weapon, RBG 40 mm/6M11, which was from the same flight and supposedly destined for Congo too, appeared in a video of the Islamic Brigade of Al Safwa in Northern Aleppo.
After Turkey, the aircraft landed in Saudi Arabia and remained there for a day. Afterwards it landed in Congo and Burkina Faso. A week later, there was an attempted military coup in Burkina Faso.
Full report and downloadable copies of leaked documents are also available here.
PHOENIX – Sen. John McCain on Friday cut off questions from reporters about a $1 million donation by the government of Saudi Arabia to a non-profit that bears McCain’s name.
McCain denied that he had any link to the McCain Institute for International Leadership, which was founded in 2012 at Arizona State University with a $9 million gift of leftover cash from McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.
“I’m proud that the institute is named after me, but I have nothing to do with it — except that they use my name just as the Goldwater Institute uses Goldwater’s name,” McCain after a town hall at a Honeywell plant in Phoenix.
The Saudi donation was first reported Thursday by Bloomberg Politics.
McCain laughed off comparisons to the Clinton Foundation, whose fundraising from foreign governments has put Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in an awkward position.
“Look at what the Clinton institute has raised in the form of money,” McCain said. “I mean, come on, there’s no connection there.”
McCain cut off questions about the donations after a few minutes.
A nonprofit with ties to Senator John McCain received a $1 million donation from the government of Saudi Arabia in 2014, according to documents filed with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
The Arizona Republican has strictly honorary roles with the McCain Institute for International Leadership, a program at Arizona State University, and its fundraising arm, the McCain Institute Foundation, according to his office. But McCain has appeared at fundraising events for the institute and his Senate campaign’s fundraiser is listed in its tax returns as the contact person for the foundation.
Translated: “The idea that a popular uprising took place against President Assad is completely false. I’ve been in Qara since 2010 and I have seen with my own eyes how agitators from outside Syria organized protests against the government and recruited young people. That was filmed and aired by Al Jazeera to give the impression that a rebellion was taking place. Murders were committed by foreign terrorists, against the Sunni and Christian communities, in an effort to sow religious and ethnic discord among the Syrian people. While in my experience, the Syrian people were actually very united.”
Grant Williams, author of “Things That Make You Go Hmm…” offered the most comprehensive analysis yet of the rise and inevitable fall of the petrodollar (and implicitly US hegemony). In the following presentation, from Mines & Money Conference in London in December 2016, Williams focuses on gold’s performance in 2016, the reaction to Donald Trump’s election and joins a series of dots that may lead to the end of the petrodollar system and a new place for gold in the global monetary system.
The story begins in the 1970s when Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon struck a deal with the House of Saud — a deal which gave birth to the petrodollar system.
The terms were simple The Saudis agreed to ONLY accept U.S. Dollars in return for their oil and that they would reinvest their surplus dollars into U.S. treasuries.
In return, the U.S. would provide arms and a security guarantee to the Saudis who, it has to be said, were living in a pretty rough neighborhood.