Jordan Has An Airline Running Guns To Syria With The Help Of The CIA

By @MayaErgas on
  • Ilyushin-76MF Launch

    Ilyushin aircraft maker and general designer Genrikh Novozhilov, right, Permskiye motor engine manufacturer and general designer Mikhail Kuzmenko, center, and test pilot Anatoly Knyshev toast after the first test flight of a Russia-Uzbek-made Ilyushin-76MF cargo plane at Tashkent aviation plant's aerodrom on Aug. 1, 2012. These planes are now being used to run military aid to Syrian rebels by several Arab countries.

  • Exploded Tank In Aleppo, Syria

    A tank belonging to forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is set on fire during what activists said were clashes between government forces and the Free Syrian Army, in the main south highway near Damascus, March 19.

    Reuters/Mohammed Dimashkia
  • Syrian Mortars

    Mortars fired from Syria during the clashes between the military forces and rebels hit the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa’s Akçakale town, killing at least five, wounding eight. The killings fueled already-high tension between Ankara and Damascus.

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Jordanian International Air Cargo is a front for the Kingdom of Jordan’s Air Force, the New York Times and Foreign Policy reports. Not only that, but JIAC has been running military aid to Syrian rebel fights in its military-style, Russian-made Ilyushin 76 cargo planes, via Croatia. In total, the Times says, there have been more than 160 flights of these planes, for a total of 3,500 tons of military equipment. And that’s a “conservative estimate,” Hugh Griffiths of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute told the Times.

The airlifts began on a small scale early last year and have steadily grown, the Times says. Other countries, including the Saudi, Qatari and Turkish governments, have also contributed to this effort.

Also involved: the American Central Intelligence Agency. 

“From offices at secret locations, American intelligence officers have helped the Arab governments shop for weapons, including a large procurement from Croatia, and have vetted rebel commanders and groups to determine who should receive the weapons as they arrive,” the Times reports. The piece also quotes several rebel commanders who outright said they were receiving arms shipments from the outside.

Naturally, the Jordanians are denying all of these allegations in the flattest way possible.

“This is all lies,” Muhammad Jubour, cargo director of Jordanian International Air Cargo, said. “We never did any such thing.”

Turkish and Saudi government officials refused to comment. When asked to explain the air traffic patterns of the Ilyushin-76MF cargo planes to and from Croatia, Jubour claimed the airline didn’t own any of those planes. When confronted with photographic evidence to the contrary on the company’s own website, Jubour didn’t respond to Times reporters C.J. Chivers and Eric Schmitt. The company’s website was swiftly taken down.

Foreign Policy took screenshots of a former iteration of JIAC’s website, in which the Ilyushin-76MF is prominently featured in the “Fleet” section of the website.

The Jordanian government claimed it has only ever provided humanitarian aid to Syria, and the government estimated the country is currently hosting around more than 400,000 Syrian refugees.

These planes, bearing clearly visible company logos, have been previously spotted all over the world.

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