Syrian opposition sold booby trapped ammo
Independent on Sunday:
To the Syrian rebels, the offer was enticing: Kalashnikov AK-47 rifles and ammunition at below-market price, with supplies plentiful. The dealers were convincing: two of them had European passports, one a British passport, and they claimed to have been involved in supplying arms during the Bosnia war.
Three meetings took place in Istanbul between representatives of the rebels and the dealers, including the Briton, calling himself Emile, to organise shipments. An initial payment of around $40,000 was made.
The delivery was on time, as had been a previous shipment. But it soon became apparent that something was wrong.
Rifles exploded during a firefight. There was a second such “accident”, and a third, leading to injuries. An examination of the remaining consignments revealed that propellants inside some of the cartridges had been replaced with ground explosives with three or four times design-pressure, with the aim of bursting them in the breach.
With Syria’s civil war getting increasingly vicious and dirty, the opposition has come across “abandoned” government arms that were proved to have been doctored.
But the presence of the arms traffickers, including the Briton, has led to claims that the Syrian regime is using foreign agents to undermine the opposition.
...One of the reasons the people are fighting Assad is that he is a ruthless tyrant. The ammo episode just is another indicator of how ruthless he can be.