Syrian Rebels Using Exact Weapons That Took Gadhafi Down
Rebel weapon pipeline shows how US arms could end up in undesirable hands
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2013 2:10 PM CDT
Free Syrian Army fighters take their positions as they observe the Syrian army forces.   (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)

(Newser) – Obama recently announced he'd begin sending arms to anti-government rebels in Syria, but where have they been getting their weapons until now? Many of them come from Libya, reports the New York Times, thanks to a secretive, Qatar-financed supply pipeline that sneaks in unregistered arms previously used by Libyan rebels to overthrow Gadhafi in 2011. Ironically, many of those weapons were supplied to Libya by Moscow in the Soviet era—and Russia is now arming the very Syrian government forces the rebels are using the weapons against.

The arms are sent on ships or Qatar Emiri Air Force flights to Syrian opposition leaders in Turkey, who then distribute them to their preferred rebel groups, who then pass them on to fighters on the ground. But those rebel fighters sometimes sell their new weapons to wealthier rebel groups, such as those aligned with al-Qaeda. So the way this arms pipeline works isn't just a fascinating bit of trivia, says the Times, but also direct insight into how US weapons could end up in the hands of extremist groups it really doesn't want to be arming.

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Showing 3 of 10 comments
gilgordan
Jun 25, 2013 8:53 AM CDT
There was a quickly buried story a few months back that spoke to Benghazi as a stash for weapons from Ghadaffi's regime, wonder is there is any connection to Amb Stevens visit there?
TonyVentana
Jun 23, 2013 5:10 PM CDT
Basher Assad is a war criminal out in front by 2 steps of a World Court hanging.
MSCOTTASHLEY
Jun 23, 2013 11:35 AM CDT
If you look up the history of attacks on US consulates and Embassies you find its happened lots of times and the Benghazi attack is not an isolated or unusual event. Politicians have turned it into a political football and make up all kinds of lies to convince us of something that isn't true. Same thing with the IRS hoopla, We cannot believe what the neocons say, they want another war and FOX news is nothing more than their spin machine. I don't think the CIA would have to kill Ambassador Stevens to keep up a illegal gun running operation.