Weapons shipped to the Middle East by the CIA to arm Syrian rebels have systematically landed on the black market in Jordan, a new report finds.
An investigation by The New York Times and Al Jazeera found that millions of dollars worth of arms sent to Jordan intended for U.S.-backed Syrian groups were routinely stolen in a scheme by Jordanian operatives.
Some of the stolen weapons were reportedly used in an attack in Amman, Jordan, that killed five, including two Americans.
The training program for Syrian rebels trying to oust President Bashar al-Assad is largely armed and funded by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. It was launched in neighboring Jordan in 2013 and relies heavily on Jordanian forces to transport weapons.
The initiative, the report clarified, is separate from the Pentagon’s now-defunct effort to train Syrian rebels to take on the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS).
Jordanian officials told the news organizations that a group of Jordanian intelligence operatives siphoned off truckloads of weapons before delivering them to their intended destinations.
After complaints from the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, several dozen Jordanian intelligence officers were reportedly arrested and fired from their posts but were able to keep pensions and money they made from the scheme.