Sudan May Be Responsible for Funneling Weapons to Syria's Rebels

If you've wondered where Syria's rebels are getting enough weapons to take on the country's military forces, apparently the answer is Sudan.

According to recent reports, the Sudanese government has been selling Sudanese and Chinese weapons to Qatar, a known rebel sympathizer. The country then makes plans to deliver the weapons, which include antiaircraft missiles, to the rebels via Turkey.

Sudan remains under an international arms embargo and its officials deny participating in the arming of rebel forces. “Sudan has not sent weapons to Syria,” said Imad Sid Ahmad, the press secretary for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. But the country's weapons have shown up in the hands of Syrian rebels during the nearly three year civil war. Many Western countries have remained hesitant to provide support to the rebels, despite continued talks about doing so.

If the allegations are true, the move is a risky one for Sudan. The country already has a reputation for adding fuel to the fire when it comes to civil unrest. According to a U.S. official, “Sudan has positioned itself to be a major global arms supplier whose wares have reached several conflict zones, including the Syrian rebels.” Sudan's weapons have shown up on the battlefields of other war-torn countries including Somalia, the Ivory Coast, Chad, Mali, and Uganda.

A spokesman for the Sudanese armed forces dismissed the allegations as false rumors meant to harm relations between Sudan and its international supporters. In response to the allegations Ahmad suggested that if the country's weapons are appearing in Syria, the conduit may be another country, like Libya.