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article imageArms from Libya being sent to Syrian rebels

By Ken Hanly     Mar 28, 2013 in World
Tripoli - The UN is concerned that weapons from unsecured stockpiles in the south of Libya are flooding into Africa and also the Middle East including Syria. Arms and even fighters have been exported to Syria since the downfall of the Gadaffi regime.
An international cargo shipper said that arms have been shipped from Libya to support Syrian fighters since Gadaffi was overthrown. He claimed that this movement of arms is well-known in the eastern city of Benghazi. The shipper said that the US should be helping out in this smuggling.
The shipper said:"We did it before, taking arms into Libya to support the rebels and it worked. I don't see why we don't do it now and take the arms to help the Syrians fight Assad." The shipper said that ships left weekly from several Libyan ports including Misrata and Benghazi. He claimed that some of the ships carried in excess of 600 tons of weapons plus professional fighters . In Syria they are called "The Libyan Brigade".
Two separate British sources told Fox News that just as Qatar and Saudi Arabia helped send weapons to rebels in Libya, they are now helping to export weapons and fighters to Syria through Libya. Fox news said that these reports were confirmed by a US contractor who would not go public for fear that he would never receive a contract again. All the sources also claim that most of the weapons are offloaded in Turkey although some have gone to Lebanon before entering Syria.
The shipper supported these actions and claimed the actions were no secret: "You can be sure everyone knows about it. It is no secret at all and much more could be done. The whole world should be doing more. The war in Syria is becoming a war of attrition and the Syrians really need the help." A US intelligence source told Fox news::"The U.S. can absolutely say that we did not provide arms to Syria ... that is because it is a splitting-hair defense. The interim Libya government in November 2011 offered to allow arms to be passed along to 'Syrian Freedom Fighters' and that those weapons could go through Turkey and Lebanon. The distribution then went from there."
Syrian rebels had talks with Libyan rebels back in November of 2011. The meeting held in Istanbul, included Turkish officials.. The Syrians requested assistance and were offered arms and possibly volunteers. A human rights campaigner, Wisam Taris, with ties to the Syrian National Council said:"The Libyans are offering money, training and weapons to the Syrian National Council,"
Libya is contributing not just to the conflict in Mali and elsewhere in Africa but is a key player as well in supporting the rebels in Syria. In some instances no doubt these weapons are going to militant Islamist groups.
More about Libya, libyan arms, Syrian civil war
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