00:54 GMT19 May 2021
Listen Live
    Get short URL

    The Czech Republic cannot be involved in delivering arms to terrorists, Jan Skalicky, chairman of the Association of Manufacturers and Sellers of Firearms and Ammunition, told Sputnik, commenting on a report about the US working with various contractors in Eastern Europe to supply arms to Syrian militants.

    Speaking to Sputnik, the head of a Czech arms-selling association gave his thoughts on a report by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN).

    According to the survey, the Pentagon is working with various contractors and sub-contractors in Eastern Europe and the post-Soviet states to implement an arms and ammunition supply program that will cost $2.2 billion. Among other countries, the report mentioned the Czech Republic.

    "As far as I know, these accusations pertain to the ruling circles of the United States rather than the Czech arms manufacturers. With all due respect to the money-does-not-stink principle, I do not think that Czech firms are engaged in such perversions as the supply of weapons to terrorists," Jan Skalicky told Sputnik.

    He said that he "cannot imagine a situation when a Czech firm would ask for permission from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which, according to the law of 38/1994, is necessary for all trading operations, and would indicate terrorists as an end user."

    "I cannot imagine that such a request would then be considered by the ministry. Such requests are handled, for example, by intelligence and security services," he said.

    When asked about should Czech authorities actively intervene in the arms trade-related issues if there are suspicions that these weapons will subsequently be re-exported to countries where armed conflicts are taking place, Skalicky said that "they certainly should."

    "However, it is absolutely impossible for such trade operations to be carried out under the guise of state armed forces or the government," he pointed out.

    Earlier, Scott Bennett, former US Army psychological operations officer and State Department counterterrorism contractor, told Sputnik that the reported US supplies of Soviet-era munitions to Syrian rebels not only "openly violates" legal norms against financing terrorism, but also risks igniting a greater conflict across the Middle East.

    According to the investigation by the  OCCRP and the BIRN, the Pentagon is buying the munitions through two channels: the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and the Picatinny Arsenal, a US Army weapons facility in New Jersey.

    The supplies are transported by sea and air from Europe to Turkey, Jordan and Kuwait and then distributed to US allied rebel forces in northern and southern Syria.

    This equipment reportedly includes firearms, mortars, AK-47 rifles, heavy machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and various types of ammunition.

    In its arms supplies for Syrian militants, the US is using "misleading documentation," undermining the UN's Arms Trade Treaty, the report said. However, the Pentagon denied the claims, saying that all of its papers are correct.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


    All Arms Deliveries to Syria Must Be Directed to Damascus – Moscow on US Plan
    The Real Plan Behind the US Decision to Supply Arms to Syrian Rebels
    US Sends Armored Vehicles, Machine Guns to Syrian Rebels
    'War Crime': Ex-US Army Officer Slams Pentagon's Alleged Arms Supplies to Syria
    terrorists, weapons, accusations, militants, arms supplies, report, Czech Republic
    Community standardsDiscussion