Lebanese arms dealers cash in on Syria revolt

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Wearing dark glasses as he sat in a fashionable Beirut cafe, Abu Abode, a Lebanese arms dealer, did not mince his words as he described the flourishing business of smuggling weapons into neighbouring Syria.

“Small arms and automatic rifles are in high demand by the Syrian rebels,” Abu Abode, not his real name, told dpa.

Peaceful pro-democracy protests, which started in Syria in March 2011, have turned into an armed conflict between the government of President Bashar al-Assad and opposition rebels.

“We are using the same smuggling routes that we used during the civil war in Lebanon,” Abu Abode added, referring to the country’s 15-year civil strife that ended in 1990.

Abu Abode comes from Hermel, an area in north-eastern Lebanon, close to the Syrian border.

The poorly-guarded 330-kilometre border between Lebanon and Syria has clearly made it easy for Abu Abode and others like him to smuggle arms and sell them to opposition rebels.

“But since the Syrian regime planted mines on the border, we have been forced to use inhospitable routes to do the business.

On some occasions, we had to use donkeys to carry arms,” he said.

This week, Damascus announced that it had foiled several infiltration attempts by rebels carrying weapons into Syria via the northern Lebanese border.

Lebanese authorities, meanwhile, said they had arrested nine people on April 2 – six Syrians and three Lebanese nationals – on suspicion of attempting to smuggle arms into Syria.

The suspects were found driving two trucks laden with ammunition and weapons, according to a source in the Lebanese army.

Abu Abode said that, since the uprising in Syria turned into an armed revolt in August 2011, the prices of smuggled arms had soared.

“Before the revolution (began), a Soviet-made Kalashnikov assault rifle used to sell for 300 dollars.

Now, they sell for 1,600-2,000 apiece,” he said.

According to him, rocket-propelled grenades were in high demand among Syrian rebels to carry out hit-and-run attacks against military troops near and in the capital Damascus.

Syria has accused Lebanese groups allied with the Sunni former Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri – who enjoys the backing of regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia – of endorsing arms smuggling and sending money for rebels in Syria

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21 responses to “Lebanese arms dealers cash in on Syria revolt”

  1. 5thDrawer Avatar
    5thDrawer

    Like the ‘money-exchangers’, they make profits in both directions. ‘Arms dealers’ will sell to anyone.

    1. antar2011 Avatar
      antar2011

      includig hizbollah gangsters who are supposedly looking after the ‘resistance’ weapons.
      i hope many others liek the one caught will do so then Hizbollah won’t have any arms to intimidate right and left 🙂 ……i know wishful thinking!

  2. 5thDrawer Avatar
    5thDrawer

    Like the ‘money-exchangers’, they make profits in both directions. ‘Arms dealers’ will sell to anyone.

    1. antar2011 Avatar
      antar2011

      includig hizbollah gangsters who are supposedly looking after the ‘resistance’ weapons.
      i hope many others liek the one caught will do so then Hizbollah won’t have any arms to intimidate right and left 🙂 ……i know wishful thinking!

  3. wargame1 Avatar
    wargame1

    Those inhospitable routes are better and safe. It will take long time but the risk is less. Assad needs a lot of effort to stop those routes.Both side should indeed have arms although Assad has better weapons. Weapon for self defense is a must for all people in that region during this conflict. The Free Syrian Army need some stinger missile so they can shot down Assads bombing aircraft. The stinger Missile is very effective , its small , light and easy to carry. 

    This should be a great time for Victor Bout but unfortunately he is in jail now. Lets see what Mr. Abu Abode can supply. The Syrian and Lebanese people should manufacture some bow and Arrow too because these are also effective. An arrow with a fire head can ignite a arms depot if it can fall on the right place. The Vietnamese invented some great home made weapon against the American invading pigs.  

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      Bacon & eggs for breakfast will give the energy for mountain treks. 😉

      1. master09 Avatar
        master09

        Add beans for xtra fire power.

      2. master09 Avatar
        master09

        Add beans for xtra fire power.

    2. MeYosemite Avatar
      MeYosemite

      Bout works for the Russians. An agent distributor serving Russia interests.

      1. wargame1 Avatar
        wargame1

        Victor bout works for any one who pay money in return of arms. He share the money with the arms manufacturers but he has a limitations i.e. He is not supposed to sell those arms which affect the interest of the involved party such as stinger missile to take down aircraft. There is no difference between Russia, China, USA , Israel , Iran relation. They all are in the same boat working for each other for reciprocal benefit. 

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar
          5thDrawer

          Which, in the wargame, is generally a good thing, eh? 🙂

      2. wargame1 Avatar
        wargame1

        Russian arms merchant Victor Bout, who has been selling weapons to Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance since 1992, switches sides, and begins selling weapons to the Taliban and al-Qaeda instead.
        [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 1/20/2002; GUARDIAN, 4/17/2002; LOS ANGELES TIMES, 5/19/2002]
         Northern Alliance are the pro Iranian Shia and allied historically allied with Russia and now with USA  in Afghanistan. Russia is helping NATO/USA in Afghanistan. Victor bout was trying to deliver some sensitive weapon to the Afghan resistance for which America and Russia were not happy. Now he is not trusted by both countries.  

      3. wargame1 Avatar
        wargame1

        Bout is seemingly protected from prosecution by the Russian government as a former KGB.USA and Russian administration are both on the same mission. The Guardian suggests that Bout may have worked with the CIA when he traded with the Northern Alliance, and this fact may be hampering current international efforts to catch him.
        [GUARDIAN, 4/17/2002]  
        USA is with the coalition with the Shia northern Alliance in Afghanistan so when bout trade arms with the Taliban the USA and Iran was after him. This is the reason Russia made no effort to rescue Bout. 

  4. wargame1 Avatar
    wargame1

    Those inhospitable routes are better and safe. It will take long time but the risk is less. Assad needs a lot of effort to stop those routes.Both side should indeed have arms although Assad has better weapons. Weapon for self defense is a must for all people in that region during this conflict. The Free Syrian Army need some stinger missile so they can shot down Assads bombing aircraft. The stinger Missile is very effective , its small , light and easy to carry. 

    This should be a great time for Victor Bout but unfortunately he is in jail now. Lets see what Mr. Abu Abode can supply. The Syrian and Lebanese people should manufacture some bow and Arrow too because these are also effective. An arrow with a fire head can ignite a arms depot if it can fall on the right place. The Vietnamese invented some great home made weapon against the American invading pigs.  

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      Bacon & eggs for breakfast will give the energy for mountain treks. 😉

      1. master09 Avatar
        master09

        Add beans for xtra fire power.

    2. MeYosemite Avatar
      MeYosemite

      Bout works for the Russians. An agent distributor serving Russia interests.

      1. wargame1 Avatar
        wargame1

        Victor bout works for any one who pay money in return of arms. He share the money with the arms manufacturers but he has a limitations i.e. He is not supposed to sell those arms which affect the interest of the involved party such as stinger missile to take down aircraft. There is no difference between Russia, China, USA , Israel , Iran relation. They all are in the same boat working for each other for reciprocal benefit. 

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar
          5thDrawer

          Which, in the wargame, is generally a good thing, eh? 🙂

      2. wargame1 Avatar
        wargame1

        Russian arms merchant Victor Bout, who has been selling weapons to Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance since 1992, switches sides, and begins selling weapons to the Taliban and al-Qaeda instead.
        [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 1/20/2002; GUARDIAN, 4/17/2002; LOS ANGELES TIMES, 5/19/2002]
         Northern Alliance are the pro Iranian Shia and allied historically allied with Russia and now with USA  in Afghanistan. Russia is helping NATO/USA in Afghanistan. Victor bout was trying to deliver some sensitive weapon to the Afghan resistance for which America and Russia were not happy. Now he is not trusted by both countries.  

      3. wargame1 Avatar
        wargame1

        Bout is seemingly protected from prosecution by the Russian government as a former KGB.USA and Russian administration are both on the same mission. The Guardian suggests that Bout may have worked with the CIA when he traded with the Northern Alliance, and this fact may be hampering current international efforts to catch him.
        [GUARDIAN, 4/17/2002]  
        USA is with the coalition with the Shia northern Alliance in Afghanistan so when bout trade arms with the Taliban the USA and Iran was after him. This is the reason Russia made no effort to rescue Bout. 

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