Control Arms is speaking out against recently concluded and proposed transfers of arms and ammunition from Russia to the government of Syria. It is deplorable that the government of Russia would knowingly send weapons into a violent situation where there is clearly substantial risk of them being used to kill civilians and commit human rights abuses. These transactions illustrate the need for an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), a robust and comprehensive set of global rules to regulate the international trade in arms.

Despite an EU arms embargo, a shipment of ammunition from Russia reached Syria on 13 January after docking in Cyprus and on Monday, a Russian newspaper reported on government plans to sell combat jets to Syria. On Tuesday, Britain, France and the United States criticized any arms transfers to Syria. Lyall Grant, UK UN ambassador was quoted as saying, “It is glaringly obvious that transferring weapons into a volatile and violent situation is irresponsible and will only fuel the bloodshed.”

If in place, a strong ATT would have made clear that such transactions are a breach of international law.

In less than one year, Syrian security forces have killed at least 5, 000 of their own people according the United Nations. Most of these were unarmed protestors and thousands more have been imprisoned without trial or tortured.

You can take action today by speaking out in support of a strong and robust Arms Trade Treaty. When States meet in July to negotiate the Treaty, we have a once-in-lifetime chance to protect lives and livelihoods. Speak out for a bulletproof treaty today to ensure a better tomorrow for everyone.

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