Study: US-Bought Weapons Quickly Landed in ISIS Hands

Government gave weapons to Syrian rebels
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2017 12:21 AM CST
US-Bought Weapons Found in ISIS Arsenal
An ISIS fighter holds his AK-47 machine gun as he relaxes on the bank of the Euphrates river in Raqqa, Syria in this 2014 photo.   (Militant website via AP)

Weapons supplied by the US and Saudi governments to Syrian rebel groups landed in the hands of ISIS fighters, in some cases in a matter of just weeks, according to a Conflict Armament Research study. The organization's study of more than 40,000 items retrieved from ISIS positions in Iraq and Syria, including guns and ammunition, found that many weapons the US government bought from European suppliers were diverted to ISIS, including an anti-tank missile component that was found with ISIS fighters in Iraq just 59 days after it left a Bulgarian factory and was sold to the US, NBC News reports. CAR says around a third of ISIS' weapons were made in the EU. More than half came from China and Russia.

"International weapon supplies to factions in the Syrian conflict have significantly augmented the quantity and quality of weapons available to IS forces—in numbers far beyond those that would have been available to the group through battlefield capture alone," CAR said in its report. The report also detailed unusual finds, including a German rifle from 1941 found with fighters in Baghdad, and a cache of 122 Chinese-made machine guns found near Mosul, each with a pouch of amphetamines attached. CAR warns that even though ISIS has now lost most of its territory, it now has the ability to manufacture its own weapons and remains a worldwide threat, Deutsche Welle reports. (More ISIS stories.)

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