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Civilians Have Easy Access to Illegal Guns in Kurdistan Black Market

3 December 2011

Kurdish Globe (Kurdistan)

Some see their firearms as further protection Twenty years after the Kurdish uprising, civilians still keep guns in their homes. Firearms remain widely accepted by people in a region where possession of unlicensed firearms is considered illegal. A weapon that was once essential for their survival--especially in the 90s--still has not lost its appeal among civilians. Politicians gift guns as a tradition. The gun market located outside of Erbil city is part of some 20... (

Read More: Kurdish Globe (Kurdistan)



Gun Smuggling Business Booming in Lebanon, Thanks to Syrian Uprising

25 November 2011

National Post (Toronto) / Reuters

BAALBEK, Lebanon — Weapons dealer Abu Wael has traded guns in Lebanon's Bekaa valley since the last days of his country's civil war, nearly a quarter of a century ago. This has been his busiest year ever. Unrest in neighbouring Syria has sent demand for weapons soaring, doubling prices for Kalashnikov assault rifles and other weapons and helping supply the increasingly well armed insurrection challenging President Bashar al-Assad. In the first six months of the... (

Read More: National Post (Toronto) / Reuters


United States,Russia,Europe,North Africa,West Asia,Bahrain,Egypt,Libya,Syria,Yemen,Austria,Belgium,Bulgaria,Czech Republic,France,Germany,Italy,United Kingdom,Spain,India

Major Arms Exporters Accused of Mideast Gun Sales Before Human Rights

24 October 2011

al Jazeera

According to an Amnesty International report, the US, Russia and a number of European countries supplied large quantities of weapons to repressive governments in the Middle East and North Africa before this year's uprisings. The report says that these arms deals were signed despite evidence of a substantial risk that they could be used to commit serious human rights violations. The human rights group reports that in the five years preceding the Arab spring $2.4bn... (

Read More: al Jazeera



Quebec Woman Charged with Trying to Export Assault Rifle Parts to Lebanon

21 October 2011

National Post (Toronto)

MONTREAL — Young and striking in her black hijab, Mouna Diab was once active in a Quebec youth group that fought discrimination against Muslims by challenging the stereotypes that too often associate them with violence and terror. But the outspoken 26-year-old activist had little to say this week after appearing in a Montreal courtroom to face a charge alleging she had violated a United Nations Security Council arms embargo that prohibits the export of weapons to... (

Read More: National Post (Toronto)


European Union,China,Germany,South Korea,Switzerland,Serbia,France,United Kingdom,Syria,Yemen,Bulgaria,Belgium,Libya,Italy,Bahrain,Egypt,United States,Russia,West Asia,North Africa,Finland,Austria,Sudan,North Korea,Spain

Tracing the Middle East Weapons Flow

19 October 2011

al Jazeera

Earlier this year, as mass popular uprisings spread through the Middle East and audiences across the world sat transfixed by images of unarmed citizens confronting iron-fisted security forces in the streets of Arab capitals, powerful governments from Russia to the United States were forced to begin accounting for the weapons they had for decades sold to the very rulers they now found themselves abandoning. In Egypt and Bahrain, protesters held up tear gas canisters... (

Read More: al Jazeera


Germany,France,Czech Republic,Bulgaria,United Kingdom,Belgium,Austria,Yemen,Syria,Libya,Egypt,Bahrain,North America,West Asia,North Africa,Europe,United States,Russia,Italy,Spain

Arab Spring Abuses Show Need for Arms Trade Curb - Amnesty

18 October 2011

Reuters (Africa)

LONDON - Russia, the United States and European countries ignored fears over human rights abuses and sold large numbers of weapons to governments in the Middle East and North Africa in recent years, Amnesty International said in a report on Wednesday. Rights group Amnesty said the failings showed the need for a meaningful international arms trade treaty to choke off the supply of weapons to countries seen at risk of turning them on their own people. "The Arab Spring... (

Read More: Reuters (Africa)



Syria's Alawites Go on Arms Shopping Spree

16 October 2011

Jerusalem Post (Israel)

Small arms are increasingly in demand inside volatile Syria, particularly among the country's Alawite minority, who fear they may face retaliation over the revolt against their co-religionist, President Bashar Assad. Most of the weapons are being smuggled in from Lebanon, once an end user of small arms during the country's 15-year civil war that ended in 1990. Today, Lebanon is overflowing with automatic weapons, grenades and hunting rifles, all of which are in demand... (

Read More: Jerusalem Post (Israel)



As Syrian Violence is Escalating, Guns Black Market Flourishes in Lebanon

14 May 2011

al Jazeera

As the Syrian uprisings escalate in violence, Lebanon's black market in arms is flourishing, with prices of light and medium weapons driven higher by Lebanese and Syrian demand. "Prices have tripled in less than two months," says Wael, a local arms dealer, whose name has been changed to protect his identity. According to local dealers, Syrians have been crossing the borders into neighbouring Lebanon to purchase weapons since late January, when the country erupted with... (

Read More: al Jazeera


Morocco,Algeria,Syria,Tunisia,Egypt,Yemen,Bahrain,Libya,United Kingdom

Lawmakers Report Says Britain Misjudged Its Middle East Gun Sales

5 April 2011

Associated Press

LONDON, United Kingdom - British lawmakers issued a critical report Tuesday showing that Britain approved sales of shotguns and tear gas to Libya, machine guns and sniper rifles to Bahrain and military technology to Yemen over the last three years. Parliament's foreign affairs, defense, international development and business committees said in a joint report that ministers failed to consider the implications of weapons sales to the Middle East and elsewhere. "Both the... (

Read More: Associated Press


Germany,Syria,Iran,United States

US Seizure of Iran-Syria Ammunition Cargo 'Embarrassing' for Germany

12 October 2009

Spiegel (Germany)

US troops boarded a German-owned freighter in early October and found eight containers full of ammunition, allegedly headed to Syria from Iran. The shipment is in violation of a UN weapons embargo and has become a source of chagrin in Berlin. An "embarrassing affair," is how one German diplomat described it. The official could also have added: potentially damaging to trans-Atlantic relations. In an operation reported on by SPIEGEL over the weekend, US soldiers entered... (

Read More: Spiegel (Germany)


United States,Spain,Syria

Syrian Gun Runner Wanted by US Begins Hunger Strike in Spanish Jail

12 September 2007

Agence France Presse

MADRID — A Syrian arms dealer who was arrested in Spain in June at the request of US authorities has begun a hunger strike, a Spanish prison administration official said. Spanish police detained Monzer al-Kassar, known as the "Prince of Marbella" because of his opulent lifestyle, on June 8 as he arrived at Madrid airport on an internal flight. US authorities believe the long-time Spanish resident had been conspiring to sell millions of euros' worth of weapons to... (

Read More: Agence France Presse


United States,Syria

Syrian International Gun Dealer Arrested in Spain, Indicted in New York

12 June 2007

Associated Press

NEW YORK — A wealthy international arms dealer who once "considered himself untouchable" sought to supply millions of dollars in weapons to Colombian rebels to attack American forces there, U.S. officials said Friday. A federal indictment unsealed in New York charged Monzer al-Kassar, 61, with conspiring to support terrorists, conspiring to kill U.S. soldiers, conspiring to acquire and use anti-aircraft missiles, and money laundering. The Syrian weapons dealer was... (

Read More: Associated Press



Singapore 'CIA Agent' Brokered Bulgaria-Syria Gun Sale, Got 1.5yrs in Jail

17 March 2007

Straits Times (Singapore)

A man sentenced to 1½ years in jail last year for brokering an illegal arms deal lost his appeal in the High Court yesterday. B. R. Chaandrran, 46, was found guilty by a district judge last October of plotting with another Singaporean, Colin Mak, 30, to arrange a contract to acquire 20,000 AKMS rifles from Bulgaria worth US$3.4 million (S$5.2 million), even though he had 'reason to believe' that the weapons were likely to end up in Syria. Chaandrran, who has been in... (

Read More: Straits Times (Singapore)


United Nations,United States,Iran,Israel,Egypt,China,Syria,India,Pakistan,Trinidad & Tobago

Traditional Foes Hold Up United Nations Progress on Small Arms

22 January 2006

Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday

NEW YORK — After two weeks of talking, governments have achieved virtually no outcome from a UN conference on controlling the proliferation and misuse of small arms. During this time, approximately 12,000 more people have died at gunpoint and many more have been injured, bereaved or denied access to livelihoods, healthcare and education because of armed violence. Usually at loggerheads on disarmament issues, the USA and Iran, Israel and Egypt are on the same side of... (

Read More: Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday



Arms Smuggling Into Lebanon Suspected

17 June 2005

Daily Star (Beirut)

BEIRUT — Allegations of arms smuggling from Syria into Lebanon surfaced as U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reiterated accusations that Syria is influencing Lebanon's elections. "The Syrians are still trying through, we believe, their surreptitious means in Lebanon to continue to have an affect on Lebanese elections there," Rice said in an interview with the American network MSNBC. She said Washington wanted Damascus "to change its behavior," adding she was... (

Read More: Daily Star (Beirut)