Croatian Arms and the Syrian Conflict

As has been widely known and reported, the CIA is facilitating the delivery of weapons to Syrian rebels from countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and Jordan. While these regimes have plenty of their own weapons on hand to send into Syria, they’ve also received some from Croatia, presumably for purposes of deniability.

As The New York Times reported, “From offices at secret locations, American intelligence officers have helped the Arab governments shop for weapons, including a large procurement from Croatia…”

Croatia has denied these allegations. But the evidence is becoming pretty clear. John Reed at Foreign Policy:

Remember how Croatia denied it had any involvement in shipping weapons to the Syrian rebels? (Despite photos of Jordanian military-owned transport planes loading up at Croatian airports.)

Well, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project has used UN trade statistics to claim that Croatia conducted the largest transfer of arms in the tiny nation’s history. In December 2012, Jordan purchased 230 tons of rocket or grenade launchers, howitzers, mortars, and plenty of ammunition from Croatia for $6.5 million. Prior to this, the Balkan nation’s largest-ever shipment of arms was 15 pistols in 2001, according to the OCCRP.

While Croatia denies any involvement in what The New York Times reports to be a CIA-facilitated, multinational arms pipeline to the Syrian rebels, numerous Yugoslav-designed weapons have appeared for weeks now in the hands of purported Syrian rebels on YouTube videos.

“Within weeks of the trade,” according to OCCRP, “powerful new weapons began appearing among Syrian rebel fighters” that “match the categories listed in the Croatian export records.”

Arms smuggling is a dirty (and often illegal) business, so it’s no wonder Croatia denies it, Arab governments are mum, and the CIA is handling this secretly. What gets lost in all this illicit trafficking and secrecy is whether or not the policy is a good idea.

There are of course two main problems with arming the rebels: (1) it amounts to support for Islamic jihadists with ties to al-Qaeda that have committed war crimes, and (2) it is not only failing to improve the situation on the ground, it is making it worse by ensuring a perpetual stalemate.

45 thoughts on “Croatian Arms and the Syrian Conflict”

  1. So is it because of our Islamic president that America now finds itself in bed with Islamic Jihad? Can Americans now expect that our govt. will continue to remain in bed with Islam for…….how long??
    Is there an Islam victory song that our children ought to be learning in school now?

    1. u.s government has been in bed w/ arabs pupets way before obama took office. actally during the invention of petro dollar in vietnam will stay dumb so long as you keep thinking that the problem is islam"which I don't believe in any religion just incase you want to accuse me"the real problem is international banking cartel which includes u.s federal reserve, and corporations

      1. Most of the wars are about money. You just need a good cause to feed the simple people in believing it.

  2. There is little evidence that the CIA is supplying Croatian arms to Islamists, rather it’s to the internationally recognised opposition. When Croatia was trying to cement its own independence, Serb led Yugoslav Army had all the weapons and led a war of aggression against it. They committed massive amount of war crimes against the Croats yet the international community would not allow Croatia to procure arms to defend its citizens. The only way that Croatia was able to defend itself was to buy arms illegally, first from countries formally aligned to the Soviet Union and then secretly through the CIA. It’s only just that Croatia passes on the help.

    1. Really? It was a mere month ago or so that Carlos Menem, President of Argentina at the time of Yugoslav civil war, was tried and convicted of supplying arms to Croatia. The idea that Croats were invaded by the Yugoslav Army is ludicrous. The Army was Federal and not Republics controlled. The Commander in Chief, was the Prime Minister, who at the time happened to be Ante Markovic, a Croat from Zagreb.
      Please give the worn out propaganda a rest.

    2. War Crimes against the innocent unarmed Croats ?
      During WWII the Nazi Croat Theocracy murdered over 1 million Serbs in a network of extermination camps which served as the NAZI's model for Auschwitz and other camps that followed. Zyklon "B", the gas used at Auschwitz along with the Crematoria were first perfected against the Serbs in Croatia. In 20 of the 22 Croat camps the camp commanders were Franciscan-Catholic priests. The Croats started the job in 1941 and finished it 1991-95 when they cleansed Croatia of the last 500,000 Serbs still living in Croatia. Today Croatis is indeed purely Catholic and Croat. Father Dragunovic, the Croat priest in the post WWII Vatican, administered the "Rat Lines" a network of Catholic monasteries where notable NAZIS were sheltered and issued new identities and passports to places like Argentina. Mengele and Eichmann were only a few among the many NAZIS who escaped through this network. Today the Croatian government names its schools and streets after the prepetrators of the crimes commited during and after WWII, while its rock-pop stars glorify the Holocaust and its death camps through verse and the Croat soccer fans form the human Swastika at international matches.

      1. Peter Galbraith, the US Ambassador to Croatia during the 1990s, rode on a Croatian tank, pumping his fist into the air, during "Operation Storm" in 1995. This operation was organized by the CIA and implemented by the Croatian Army. Serb towns were indiscriminantly shelled and hundreds of civilians were murdred as they fled the Krajina, a predominantly Serb region of what is now Southern Croatia. This was the largest "Ethnic Cleansing" operation of the entire war where the last of the 250,000 Serbs were expelled from their ancestral lands. The CIA has a long wrap sheet in South America, the Balkans and the Middle East. Your merely parroting the CNN and other propaganda networks and you obviously know little of Yugoslav history.

    3. Croatia was taking some of the very large quantities of Iranian arms meant for the Bosnian Muslims. It is in a U.S. government document:

      Almost immediately after the “no instructions'' message was passed on, large quantities of Iranian weapons began to flow through Croatia into Bosnia…
      The Croatians,however, consistently siphoned off portions, anywhere from one-third to one-half, of each Iranian weapons shipment transshipped through Croatia.

      Also, Argentina was illegally supply Croatia with tons of weapons:

      A court in Buenos Aires has convicted ex-President Carlos Menem of illegally selling 6,500 tonnes of arms to Croatia and Ecuador during the 1990s.

      The weapons that ended up in Croatia were sent in seven shipments between 1991 and 1995 when much of the Balkans was under a UN arms embargo.

      1. A very large portion of former East Germany's arsenal ended up in Croatia. Germany armed Croatia tot he teeth through arms shipments vie Hungary. These shipments were arriving to Croatia before the war even started. Furthermore US and NATO C130 transport aircraft with Iraninan insignia were ferrying arms and soldiers into Bosnia and Sarajevo proper. Former Yugoslav Peoples Army bases located on Croatian Islands were used as training and staging bases for Jihadii fighters bound for Bosnia. The CIA set-up the entire operation. As a result, today Bosnia has a significant Wahabbi population who lives in mountain villages. In Eastern Bosnia, for example, the Wahabbis are building new training camps, stockpiling weapons and constructing mountain roads to link up their bases and towns in a matter so not to pass through the Republic of Srpska territory (Republic of Srpska is the Serbian entity within Bosnia). During the Bosnian conflict US Special forces operated alongside Jihadi forces. A number of these servicemen were killed by and / or captured by Serbian fighters. Osama Bin Laden's network always accepts aide from the West when it is offered. And now, this is the case in Syria, where the CIA is arming Jihadists.

  3. what? just google "battle of the barracks" – croatia, to see who took all of the weapons by attacking the Yugo army…

  4. The idea dividing Yugoslavia in pieces was not only about Yugoslavian having a socialist government , for USA and NATO countries the balkan war was a opening, a corridor to Central Asia, or if you will south of Russia having a better control both militarily and the shipping of oil from case an sea. But.., the Balkan war is not the end.., USA and EU for at being able to have a total world economic supreme conclave they need to control the northern Persian gulf as well.., that bring us to Iraq and Syrian war and the talk of a war with Iran.., CIA job both in Balkan and now Syria is consist of supporting the enemies of a legitimate government, dividing people by arming verity of handy foot solders as they did in Yugoslavia and doing in Syria.., all the evidence not need to be obvious.., a untruthful government, a falsified democracy will never admit to any of its fraudulent acts nor there will be a transparency in their acts against humanity.., but there is a CIA and its acting where government sends them or wants them to do.., sending, giving, organizing the time, the place or a country, doing it "legally" is their job.., Croatia become Croatia because of Yugoslavia being divided by NATO militarism regime.., so they, the Croatian government owe it to EU and USA..,and if anyone finds out about USA or EU sending arm to Syria…, the blame is on Croatians.., as always us or EU never had anything to do with sending arms or selling it to anyone., they are the good guys you know.., it is other guy that is bad.

    1. I totally agree with you. it is the old britsh way"divide and conqure"but what they did not put into their evil plan is that iran has been there for many thousends of years and their fabric in so integrtated that it is impossible to break them apart. they tried it in the 1980s" when after the revolution iran was at its weakest point" via saddam hossin and the 9 year long war, but the iranian didn't give an inch from their land away, I think the new world order has come to an end with the emergence of china, russia and now the sleeping giant"iran".

  5. Ohhhh Tim,
    Or you are so naive or you are just trying to make as all believe "your version" of story.
    1st. in WW2 Croatian Nazi regime sided with Germany killing millions of native Serbs who lived in Croatia for ceturies as well as Jews and Roma. As the reword Hitler redrew new map of ex Yugo and gave Croatia way bigger land leaving over few million Serbs out of Serbia wh by the way fought Allies side. After war thanks to Churchil and Roosevelt the communist by name of Tito came to power funeling all investment and money to Croatia because he was a Croat-Slovenian yet you are try to potray the Serbs???
    In last 1991 conflict was Croatia trying to take part of Bosnia by fighting not only Serbs but Bosnian Muslim?
    Cement that?

  6. "Croation arms" being loaded at "Croatian airports". Obviously it should be 'Croatian' in both cases.

  7. No surprise to see Croatia behind this. It has an appalling record of war crimes stretching back years.

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  9. I don't think this situation has much to do with religious preferences but instead the danger that illegal shipping of firearms posses. Trafficking weapons is not only a criminal offence but is is extremely dangerous when regarding how any accidents could potentially harm others. And what if they got into the wrong hands? Although this does lie on the assumption that they were not shipped with a professional and experienced team. If they were handled properly, does it make a difference? I guess the secrecy and denial is still there and most wars are based around money.

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