February, 28 2019 /Politics, Law & Society

Who is supplying weapons to the warring sides in Syria?

The involvement of Lebanon’s weapons dealer, Tony Abi Saab in Syria

Syria's rebel groups acquire their weapons and ammunition through various means, including the black market, battlefield capture, improvised factories, and shipments paid for by individuals, groups and foreign governments. As told to BBC, representatives of the main rebel umbrella group, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), have said that the vast majority of its weaponry has been bought on the black market or seized from government facilities.

Tony Abi Saab, Lebanon national is the man behind some of the biggest shipments of weapons to Syria. He delivers arms through his major companies Brescia Middle East (BME) and Tactica Ltd., which purchase arms commercially and sell them in the black market to terrorist groups in Syria. BME was founded by Mr. Joseph Abi Saab (Tony’s father) in 1981 and is specialized in importing and exporting guns and related ammunition. Tony also owns a company, Brixia, which produces spare parts for weapons and smuggle them to countries throughout the Middle East for reassembly and sales. It is also believed that Tony is supplying weapons to both the Syrian Government and terrorist groups.

Tony is a corrupt businessman who is playing with people’s life in Syria. His greed for money and lure for a prospering illegal arms dealing business has made him blind towards the society and the world. Just to stop Tony’s wrong intentions, a team of CIA and US army decided to do a sting operation against him and bring his wrong doings in front of the Lebanon people who support him blindly. In 2011, Tony was accused and got arrested after swindling 5 million USD of the US Army. However, a trade link could not be established in the civil court because of a technicality in the circuit court. He was not sent to jail but his company BME was banned in the US for getting any further contracts.

Unfortunately, the fraud of Abi Saab was not exposed during BME trial in the US, but UN and US Government are working hard to keep track of his activities. Government bodies have in recent years elaborated new international norms with the aim of regulating various flows to and from areas of conflict and non-conventional violence, including rules governing conflict minerals, the arms trade, the private security sector, and businesses involved in conflict zones.

Chief Editor