Subscribe

Here's How the U.S., China and Russia Are Supplying Islamic State's Weapons

    How can we be sure the deadly equipment we're sending won't end up in Islamic State's hands? Shutterstock


The U.S. is preparing to send more military supplies to the Middle East to fight Islamic State at the same time a report has revealed that most of the radical group’s weapons come from America. Although much of the armament IS uses was seized, the group is also believed to be buying equipment “directly from the companies and dealers that routinely profit from strife in the Middle East.”

As the U.S. delves headfirst into another war in a continuation of this vicious circle of intervention and profiteering, the question of when it will end seems increasingly more difficult to answer.

Foreign Policy magazine:

An independent arms monitoring group has collected evidence that fighters in the Islamic State (IS) group, labeled a “network of death” by President Obama, are using weapons and ammunition manufactured in at least 21 different countries, including China, Russia, and the United States.

The report, released Oct. 6 by Conflict Armament Research, indicates that the Islamic State’s relatively newly-formed force has had little difficulty tapping into the huge pool of armaments fueling the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, supplied not only by the world’s big powers but also by up-and-coming exporters such as Sudan…Experts say the fact that the armaments have such disparate sources — some were even made at a major U.S. munitions plant in Missouri — provides a cautionary note as Washington prepares to undertake expanded shipments of military supplies, including small arms, to rebel groups in Syria and to a revived Iraqi Army…Manufacturers in Russia and the former Soviet Union made a total of 492 of the recovered shells, according to the report. Russia has been a major arms supplier to the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, whose forces also have been battling the Islamic State…The next-biggest country of origin for IS’s weapons was China. Of the cartridges recovered from Islamic State forces 445 came from China.

The third-highest supplier was the United States, with 323 cartridges, the report said. Some of these shells, meant for M16A4 assault rifles, were made at the U.S. Army’s munitions factory in Independence, Missouri, according to the report. The plant sprawls over nearly 4,000 acres and has recently produced a staggering 4 million rounds of small caliber ammunition every day, mostly for U.S. forces.

Read more

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

Natasha Hakimi Zapata
Assistant Editor and Poetry Editor
Natasha Hakimi Zapata holds a Creative Writing M.F.A. from Boston University and both a B.A. in Spanish and a B.A. in English with a creative writing concentration from the University of California, Los…
Natasha Hakimi Zapata

Now you can personalize your Truthdig experience. To bookmark your favorite articles, please create a user profile.

Personalize your Truthdig experience. Choose authors to follow, bookmark your favorite articles and more.
Your Truthdig, your way. Access your favorite authors, articles and more.
or
or

A password will be e-mailed to you.

Statements and opinions expressed in articles and comments are those of the authors, not Truthdig. Truthdig takes no responsibility for such statements or opinions.