Syria Buys Arms for Iraq

Ze'ev Schiff - Syria, current president of the UN Security Council, is violating the UN arms embargo on Iraq by sending weapons and military equipment delivered to Syrian ports on to Iraq via trucks and rail. The Syrian weapons purchases for transfer to Iraq include refurbished T-55 tank engines and other replacement parts for T-72s, from Bulgaria and Belarus; military trucks from Russia; and anti-aircraft cannon from the Czech republic. Ukraine and other countries have sold 80 engines for MiG 29s, as well as radar systems for those planes. In addition, spare parts have been bought by Syria and sent on to Iraq for MiG 21s, 23s and 25s. Syria has also passed on equipment from Hungary and Serbia to Iraq. Among those involved in these transactions is the son of Syrian Defense Minister Firas Talas, who owns a large holding company in Syria. Talas is also involved in purchasing oil from Iraq. The commercial-security relationship that has developed between Syria and Iraq since Bashar Assad came to power in Damascus is a significant strategic change in the region. The late Hafez Assad aligned with the West against Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War. (Ha'aretz)

2002-07-15 00:00:00

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