Turkish guns in Syria: an update

A few months ago, I helped Hurriyet’s Tolga Tanis demonstrate that Turkey had exported weapons to Syria. The government had been furiously denying this, but our report finally backed them into admitting that they had allowed the sale of “non-military” weapons.

With a few months’ more trade data now available, we can see that the reality was worse than even this admission. In December, even as the politicians reluctantly confessed selling “sports guns” to Syria, their clerks were recording unambiguously military sales. Turkey-Syria export figures for that month include “munitions, components, and parts of bombs, torpedoes, mines, missiles”

This all comes with the usual disclaimer that trade data is rarely 100% accurate, and that in military terms these amounts of weaponry are pretty insignificant.

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