Syrians Smuggling Arms to Baghdad

(Telegraph-UK) Con Coughlin - Syria is secretly helping Saddam Hussein by smuggling vital arms supplies to Baghdad. Western intelligence officials have discovered that at least 52 crates containing new Russian-made air-defense systems and spare parts have been smuggled into Iraq from Syria since the start of December. Damascus has recently improved ties with Baghdad, allowing Saddam to open an oil-smuggling route through a Syrian port. The Syrians receive an estimated 20 percent commission on the substantial quantities of arms and spare parts they help Saddam smuggle through Syria. Defense experts believe the latest Syrian arms shipments will enable the Iraqis to radically upgrade their air-defense capabilities - improving the range and effectiveness of Soviet-made SA6 anti-aircraft missiles.

2002-12-16 00:00:00

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