PRAGUE (Sputnik) — The Pentagon provided anti-government forces in Syria with weapons purchased in the Czech Republic and several other Eastern European countries allegedly for the US Defense Department's own needs, the Czech Center for Investigative Journalism reported.
According to the center's data, gathered from open sources, the Pentagon purchased obsolete weapons worth $71 million (among which were AK-47 assault rifles, grenade launchers and mortars) in the Czech Republic, Georgia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine.
One of the documents needed for obtaining an export license for weapons is called an end-user certificate, which must guarantee that weapons will not fall into the wrong hands. According to the Czech Center for Investigative Journalism, the US Department of Defense provided false information for the certificate, claiming that the user would be the US Army.
Earlier investigations, in which the center was also involved, showed that over the last four years, Eastern European countries, including the Czech Republic, approved a sale of weapons worth more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to a number of Middle Eastern countries, which then allegedly transported the arms to Syria. These sales were not widely publicized.