A Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program designed to arm moderate Syrian opposition groups is alleged to have been looted with the stolen weapons re-routed and sold on the black market in Jordan.
According to accounts from both American and Jordanian officials with knowledge of the theft, weapons originating from eastern Europe and the Balkans shipped by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia vanished after arrival in Jordan.
The arms, a cache of light-infantry rifles, mortars and anti-tank weapons, later re-emerged in a Jordanian underworld market.
Jordanian officials say the weapons, valued in the millions of dollars, were stolen by officials with “direct access” to the stockpile, with the proceeds financing the purchase of luxury items such as watches, automobiles and electronic items.
Reacting to complaints from American and Saudi officials who orchestrated the delivery of arms, Jordanian authorities arrested several military officers and discharged them from the service.
It is suspected one weapon sold on the illegal market was used in the attack on an Amman, Jordan, police training facility in 2015, which claimed five lives, including two American instructors.
Jordan’s media affairs minister Mohammad H al-Momani denied that domestic intelligence personnel were involved, explaining that “weapons of our security institutions are concretely tracked, with the highest discipline.”
The CIA has hosted intelligence and training programs in Jordan since the beginning of King Hussein’s reign during the Eisenhower Administration in the early 1950s.
[RT News] [Al Jazeera] [Photo courtesy The Atlantic]