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MIDEAST > Documents show Turkey sent guns to Syrian rebels

Tolga Tanış WASHINGTON/ Hürriyet

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The numbers found in the UN Comtrade database of international trade were based on records from the Turkish Statistics Institution. AFP photo

The numbers found in the UN Comtrade database of international trade were based on records from the Turkish Statistics Institution. AFP photo

Turkey has sent over 47 tons of weaponry to the Syrian rebels since June, according to documents filed under the United Nations trade records, despite repeated denials from government ranks.

The U.N. records show that Turkey has sent varying amounts of guns to the Syrian rebels over the past few months, with the highest amount reaching nearly 29 tons of weaponry in September alone. The numbers are found in the U.N. Comtrade, a database of international trade statistics detailed according to commodities and partner countries.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Levent Gümrükçü initially denied the numbers, but later on confirmed to daily Hürriyet that the U.N. numbers were based on previous records from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK), which filed the weaponry sent to Syria as “guns without military uses.”

This category, which includes shotguns and hunting rifles, but excludes more advanced weaponry such as Kalashnikovs, allows for states to bypass the weapons embargo currently imposed on Syria.

Turkey has repeatedly denied providing military assistance to the Syrian rebels, despite several reports claiming otherwise.

Back in August, opposition sources claimed that 400 tons of arms had been sent into Syria from Turkey to boost insurgent capabilities against Syrian government forces, after a suspected chemical weapons strike on rebellious suburbs of Damascus. The claims were strictly denied by Turkish diplomats at the time.

In November, authorities seized nearly 1,000 rocket heads after searching a truck in the southern province of Adana. The local governor said 10 people had been detained in the raid, during which 935 rocket heads and 10 launching pads were seized. At the time, Adana Governor Hüseyin Avni Coş claimed that the operation proved Turkey was not supporting radical groups in Syria.

December/16/2013

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american american

12/17/2013 1:26:21 PM

just like turkey never sent guns to the mb egypt? the same kind of 'non-lethal' guns....

Thessalonian

12/16/2013 11:21:02 PM

@Halil Ibrahim. Then Russia would have "invaded" Turkey and "crushed" Erdogan. Regards

ilker avni

12/16/2013 10:52:00 PM

Syrian war is a sectarian proxy war,Iran sends arms and men,saudi sends money and arms,its a game where they can be no winners only losers,the syrians are the losers in this game,played out by Saudi and Iran in Syria.Its only a matter of time before the gulf states and Iran go to war,each one are prepairing and building up the military,with saudi and israel joining forces,allso reports that pakistan building nuclear bombs for saudi purchase,allso the saudies buying thousands of missiles from us.

Halil Ibrahim

12/16/2013 3:14:16 PM

Turkey should have invaded Syria and crushed Assad way before this thing escalated to involving Jihadists. The only arms we should be sending to Syria should be in the hands of Turkish infantry. If we don't act now, there are two very grim scenarios ahead, a divided Syria with an armed Jihadist element spilling over to Turkey or another destabilized front for PKK operations. We need to stop this killing between Sunni and Alevi, it's shameful that people will murder each other for religion.

Pawel Bury

12/16/2013 3:06:55 PM

These are not news. Everybody knows what Turkey has been doing, except Davutoglou and RTE...

jim handley

12/16/2013 2:21:05 PM

One of the few things Turkey is doing right is helping the rebels... unfortunately one can't count on Obama for anything. The Sunni's need to keep the Shia at bay and topple Assad.

two sides to every coin

12/16/2013 2:19:36 PM

The world knows exactly where Turkey stands on Syria, Egypt, Iran and so on. Turkey will always back an Islamic based leadership. such as The Muslim Brotherhood. After all AKP has only one agenda for Turkey, and that is a religious based government with Erdogan being the supreme leader.

Recep Ozel

12/16/2013 2:15:11 PM

For years we had foreign countries funding the PKK and sending arms to them. We were not happy to see our country torn apart by the PKK and innocent people killed. Now we are doing it to the neighboring countries.. What have we learned??!!

hanni bal

12/16/2013 1:36:34 PM

this bloody civil war must be stop! help

Peter Kypros

12/16/2013 12:45:41 PM

The important part is that Turkey got involved in the internal affairs of another country and lied about it. How does it feel if another country decides that Turkey is oppressing its people the Kurds, Alevis etc and supply them with tons of weapons to bring down the government? Who would blame Assad if he eventually wins and takes revenge in a similar way? The result is that many innocent people lose their lives as a result of such policies.
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