CIA weapons for Syrian rebels ‘sold to black market’
BEIRUT—Weapons shipped into Jordan for Syrian rebels by the Central Intelligence Agency and Saudi Arabia were stolen by Jordanian intelligence operatives and sold to arms merchants on the black market, the New York Times reported, citing American and Jordanian officials.
Some of the stolen weapons were used in a shooting in November that killed two Americans and three others at a police training facility in Amman, according to a joint investigation by the New York Times and Al Jazeera.
A Jordanian officer shot dead two US government security contractors, a South African trainer and two Jordanians at a US-funded police training facility near Amman before being killed in a shootout, Jordanian authorities had said in November. Amman, after the 2003 US invasion of Iraq to help rebuild the shattered country’s postwar security forces shooting had originally arrived in Jordan for the Syrian rebel training program, the paper reported, citing American and Jordanian officials.
Theft of the weapons, which ended months ago after complaints by the American and Saudi governments, has led to a flood of new weapons available on the arms black market, the New York Times said.
Jordanian officers who were part of the plan “reaped a windfall” from sale of weapons, using the money to buy iPhones, SUVs and other luxury items, according to the paper, which cited Jordanian officials.
The CIA could not be immediately reached for comment.—Agencies area of no man’s land where thousands of Syrian refugees are stranded and where the frontiers of Iraq, Syria and Jordan meet.
Quoting an unnamed source, the Amaq statement said the attack against “the Jordanian-American base at Rukban in Jordan was carried out by an Islamic State fighter”.
According to the Jordanian army, the suicide bomber set off from the makeshift Syrian refugee camp near the Rukban crossing in Jordan’s remote northeast.
He then entered Jordanian territory through an opening used for humanitarian aid deliveries and blew himself up as he reached a military post, it added.
Jordan hosts hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and thousands more have been stranded at the frontier since January. King Abdullah strongly condemned the attack and said that Jordanian armed forces would strike back “with an iron fist”.—Agencies