US 'illegally' sent $2.2 billion of weapons to Syria via Germany

US 'illegally' sent $2.2 billion of weapons to Syria via Germany
An investigation into weapons export certification showed the US military allegedly falsified documents and knowingly misled the German government when it flew weapons to Syrian rebels via Germany.
2 min read
15 September, 2017
Syrian rebels in Idlib using aged Soviet weaponry [AFP]

The German federal prosecution service has confirmed it will carry out an initial investigation into allegations the US military flew Soviet-style weaponry to the Syrian opposition via a German military base without the correct permits.

The investigation was brought about by a report from the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), which showed the US military had allegedly bought $2.2 billion worth of aged Soviet weaponry for use in the Syrian civil war.

The Americans may have broken the law however as the German federal government did not approve any permits for weapons flown via a US military base in Ramstein, southwest Germany.

BIRN reports that US forces may have falsified the paperwork required, as the end user certificates required to export the weapons reference use by the US government only - making no mention of Syria.

The German government said in a statement on Thursday that it had no knowledge of the movement of weapons to Syria via Ramstein.

Some reporters have estimated the US sent more than $700 million of weapons and ammunition to the Syrian rebels since September 2015.

A Department of Defense budget document shows the US military pencilled in an estimated $250 million to arm and train the Syrian rebels for the year 2017.

United States Special Operations Command refused to comment on the accusations, but added that it did not currently "store or transit" weapons destined for Syria using German bases and had "specifically directed” its agents not to do so.