Turkey illegally transfers German tanks to jihadists in Syria

Published on 10th December 2019 by Lucas

Filed under Internet, News

Last modified 19th October 2020

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Recep Erdogan’s Turkish government has transferred German-made Leopard 2 tanks to a Turkish-backed “rebel group” fighting in northeastern Syria, violating the end-user terms of the sales agreement and German law regarding arms exports.

The Turkish military has transferred an unknown number of Leopard 2 tanks to the Syrian National Army (SNA), a rebel group composed of radical Islamists who have been accused of committing multiple war crimes, Bild reports. The Turkish-backed jihadists are said to have already deployed the German-made tanks against the US and German-backed Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northeastern Syria. 

Bild writes:

“Since 2016, the Turkish army has used Germany’s main Leopard 2 tank in the Syrian war. But: After Bild’s investigations, it turns out that the Turkish government has now also transferred Leopard 2 tanks to Syrian rebels – illegally! ”

 Hamsa Birakdar, a spokesman for the Turkish-backed SNA, has confirmed to the German newspaper that they were now using the advanced tanks.

“Turkey provided us with military equipment including tanks,” Birakdar said.

“We received three heavily armored vehicles and troop transport vehicles,” Birakdar added while confirming that the SNA had been trained on how to use the Leopard 2.

Recently, the Syrian National Army (SNA) published a video that shows a Leopard 2 tank firing upon a village in northern Syria.

Tobias Linder, a defense expert for the Green party, has stated that there’s no doubt about the genuineness of the video. He has called on the Turkish government to provide an immediate response.“If Turkey actually passed ‘Leopard-2’ on, it must have serious consequences! Anyone who violates such agreements and violates international law must not receive German arms exports or any other military support, “Lindner told Bild.

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