How are Ukrainian weapons ending up in the hands of ISIS?

Antiaircraft missileSignificant amounts of Ukrainian-manufactured weapons are ending up in the hands of the Islamic State, prompting accusations that Kiev may be arming the militant group in an effort to impair its regional foe Russia. Persisting rumors that Ukraine may be secretly arming the Islamic State —also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS— resurfaced last week, when authorities in Kuwait arrested six men suspected of working for the militant group. Among them was Osama Mohammed Saeed Khaiyat, a Syrian citizen of Lebanese background, who is believed to have traveled to Europe and the Middle East in search of weapons to be purchased by the Islamic State. Khaiyat, 45, allegedly told his captors that he has made several trips to Ukraine in the past, where he has purchased weapons and ammunition on behalf of the group. The weapons are purchased with cash, said Khaiyat, and are then delivered to Islamic State fighters in Syria through smuggling routes in the Black Sea and in Turkey.

As can be expected, Khaiyat’s revelations rekindled rumors that the government of Ukraine may be secretly funding the Islamic State, or may be turning a blind eye to secret dealings between weapons merchants and Islamic State arms procurers. The theory goes that Kiev is hoping that a well-armed Islamic State may be able to bog down Russian armed forces in Syria and thus distract Moscow from its military operations in eastern Ukraine. However, there is no proof that Ukraine’s state-owned Ukroboronprom weapons conglomerate, which oversees the country’s military–industrial complex, is the source of the weapons. It is worth noting that millions of weapons have been stolen from Ukrainian government depots since the start of the war in Donbass, and that weapons-smuggling has increased dramatically as a result. Moreover, Khaiyat told his Kuwaiti captors that FN-6 portable antiaircraft surface-to-air missiles were among the weapons he bought in Ukraine. The FN-6 is a Chinese-manufactured weapon, which has never been sold to the Ukrainian military. On the other hand, the Ukrainians could have purchased that weapon from the Chinese through a front-company, before supplying it to the black market.

Speaking to Russian news agency TASS, a spokesman for the Ukrainian military said on Friday that authorities in the former Soviet republic had no idea how the weapons were reaching the Islamic State. Vladislav Seleznyov, who speaks on behalf of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ General Staff, told TASS that Kiev had “not produced or purchased Chinese-designed antiaircraft missile systems”, nor had it “provided transit for their transportation” to Syria. He added that reporters “should turn to law enforcement agencies on this issue”, as the Ukrainian military had “nothing to report on this topic”.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 23 November 2015 | Permalink

Advertisements

8 Responses to How are Ukrainian weapons ending up in the hands of ISIS?

  1. i think it’s the other way around. i think russia stole ukrainian weapons and gave them to isis to impair ukraine by means of getting the intelligence community and general public mad by means of an effort to accuse ukraine of supporting isis. That whole isis did this isis did that, (if isis even exists anymore, which we would never know as normal citizens in the united states. ) is probably to make immigrants leave europe. because they don’t accept people of different backgrounds and ethnicities like the usa does. except for the parts of the usa who don’t which are the people who watch the news.

  2. Money doesn’t really bother about which way round the world goes and it’s gyrating all over the place at present.

  3. Pingback: MILNEWS.ca #UKR Update – 232115UTC November 2015 | MILNEWS.ca Blog

  4. Pingback: Auribus Arrectis

  5. Beano McReano says:

    Russia is finding out it is not easy to play American, eh?

  6. TFH says:

    Weapons made in Ukraine is a comodity and after it is made there is absolutely now way of telling or predictiong or promising if that weapon will be used for or against Ukraine. How many AK’s did the native fighters of Afghanistan use against the Soviets?

  7. Pingback: Ukrainiečių ginklai Islamo Valstybei | Versijos

  8. wally says:

    One can find Russian made weapons everywhere and in every group including ISIS. Not sure what the point of this is.

We welcome informed comments and corrections. Send us yours using the form below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s