Illicit traffics and arms trade in the Syrian conflict

Bajo el título Illicit transfers, conflict-sensitive movements & trade, el INCIPE organizó el pasado 29 de mayo un desayuno de trabajo centrado en la guerra civil siria. El investigador invitado, Hugh Griffiths, del Stockholm International Peace Institute (SIPRI), expuso algunas claves para entender el entramado del comercio de armas que prolifera en la región. Mientras que la Unión Europea ha decidido levantar el embargo de armas a Siria, la complejidad de este tráfico revela una “historia secreta”, similar a la que acompañó a otros conflictos, como el bosnio, cuya punta de iceberg es la única que trasciende a los medios de comunicación.

In the years before the Syrian civil war, the import of weapons by the Syrian government increased by more than 300% with Russia being the main supplier, followed far behind by Iran. Today, as evidenced by some material interceptions, Moscow gives the government of Bashar Al Assad materials of defense. Iran also plays the important role of oil supply.

Griffiths’s research focuses on monitoring air and sea records checks, stressing the importance of the market as Lebanese arms supply point of the Syrian rebels, and the financial support they receive from the Gulf States. In addition, opponents are equally involved in the count of heavy weapons, such as SAMs.

The nature of some of these non-state groups, and the influence of other regions mired in deep crises such as Libya, whose weaponry flowing through the porous borders of the Sahel and the Middle East, pose a challenge to the international community.

The Work Breakfast ended with a lively discussion during which participation from representatives of diverse sectors. Issues like changing the position of Hezbollah guerrillas along the Syrian conflict, the importance of Gaddafi’s weapons stock, and the role of Israel were addressed.

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