While in Aleppo in December 2016, Gaytandzhieva obtained access to underground weapons storage areas belonging to al-Nusra Front, the terrorist group that was routed from Aleppo by the Syrian Arab Army and the Russian military. In the storage areas Gaytandzhieva found boxes of weapons that displayed airway bill numbers, packing lists and other markings that proved they had come from Bulgarian manufacturers.
More recently, Gaytandzhieva received documents from an anonymous source that included correspondence between the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the embassy of Azerbaijan in Bulgaria. The leaked documents detail the purchase and movement of tons of weapons to and from European and Middle Eastern nations. The weapons were picked up and flown to their destinations by Azeri national cargo airline Silk Way Airlines under Azeri diplomatic cover in order to avoid inspection.
According to the documents, Silk Way provided weapons transportation flights under diplomatic cover to private companies and arms manufacturers from the USA, the Balkans and Israel, as well as to the militaries of Saudi Arabia, UAE and the US Special Operations Command (USSCOM). The militaries of Germany and Denmark in Afghanistan, and the Swedish military in Iraq, have also availed themselves of the services of Silk Way, the documents show.
There were also five flights this year from Serbia to Azerbaijan via Israel. Each flight carried 44 tons of weapons, including 1970s-era Czechoslovakian-made RM-70/85 multiple rocket-launcher systems. The seller was MSM Martin in Serbia and the purchaser was Elbit Systems, Israel. Each RM-70/85 system weighs about 33 tons. What does Israel want with up to 10 such 1970s-era systems that are not compatible with Israel's NATO-compatible military?
When Silk Air planes were not available, Azeri Air Force planes were used. For example, on May 12th 2015, an Azeri Air Force aircraft carried 18 tons of RPGs from Bulgaria to Azerbaijan. The official 'seller' of the weapons was the small US defense contractor Purple Shovel. The official 'buyer' of the weapons was the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan. The manufacturer was Bulgaria's VMZ military plant. But the RPGs never arrived in Azerbaijan and instead were offloaded at Turkey's Incirlik airbase, home to a major US Air Force compound.
Purple Shovel was also directly involved in the Obama administration's farcical 2015 plan to 'train and equip moderate Syria rebels' that ended with four or five 'rebels' being combat ready. The story goes that Purple Shovel was having a hard time finding the thousands of new RPGs (among other things) that the Pentagon wanted to send to the 'rebels', and ended up buying 1980s models from a Bulgarian arms manufacturer. The Pentagon was wary of such out-of-date munitions and Purple Shovel was required to test them and learn how to use them before they could be shipped to the US military, which would then teach the 'rebels' how to use them against civilians in Syria. One of Purple Shovel's trainers was doing just that at a firing range in Bulgaria on June 6th 2015 when one of the RPGs exploded and killed him.
Other US contractors were also involved in this illicit arms-for-jihadis program. Major US defense contractor Orbital ATK transported weapons to Afghanistan on 6 diplomatic Silk Way flights in July and August 2015. The route was Azerbaijan - Bosnia and Herzegovina - Azerbaijan - Afghanistan. Orbital ATK was the 'seller' of the Bosnian weapons and the Afghan police force was the 'buyer'.
It's not clear why the Afghan government could not simply purchase the weapons directly and instead involve a US defense contractor, the Azerbaijani government, and the Azerbaijani national cargo airline. It's also not clear why the official Afghan national police did not purchase weapons directly from US manufacturers via the Pentagon. Surely the Afghan police would prefer to use superior US-made weapons and US arms manufacturers would appreciate the business. We can't, of course, be sure that the Afghan police ever received the weapons. Maybe the guys in the black helicopters know.
The leaked documents also show that three Silk Way flights in March and April this year flew from Azerbaijan to Bulgaria and then on to Abu Dhabi in the UAE. Each plane carried 10.8 tons of armor-piercing warheads for RPG-7s. The exporter was Samel-90 in Bulgaria, the importer was 'al-Tuff LLC' of the UAE, which just happens to be a subsidiary of the aforementioned US defense contractor, Orbital ATK. Again it should be noted that these weapons do not comply with UAE's NATO-standard military infrastructure. That is to say, these weapons were not destined for use by the UAE military.
If anyone was still wondering why ISIS was able to overrun Syria and almost defeat the Syrian Arab Army and slaughter hundreds of thousands of Syrians in the process before Russia intervened, now you know.
Joe Quinn is the co-author of 9/11: The Ultimate Truth (with Laura Knight-Jadczyk, 2006) and Manufactured Terror: The Boston Marathon Bombings, Sandy Hook, Aurora Shooting and Other False Flag Terror Attacks (with Niall Bradley, 2014), and the host of Sott.net's The Sott Report Videos and co-host of the 'Behind the Headlines' radio show on the Sott Radio Network.
An established web-based essayist and print author, Quinn has been writing incisive editorials for Sott.net for over 10 years. His articles have appeared on many alternative news sites and he has been interviewed on several internet radio shows and has also appeared on Iranian Press TV. His articles can also be found on his personal blog JoeQuinn.net.
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