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Online Arms Trade on Rise in the Arab World

Online Arms Trade on Rise in the Arab World

Friday, 17 November, 2017 - 13:00
Asharq Al-Awsat AR.

A recent report on the proliferation of weapons in the Arab world revealed that some countries in the region have become "hot spots" to sell weapons illegally online.

An investigative report published Thursday by sister newspaper "Al-Majalla" highlighted the findings of a study by the "Small Arms Survey" organization. The report was based on tracking 1,346 attempts to sell weapons online in the region and found that all "deals" in this area were carried out by mobile applications and through social media sites.

There were weapons from 26 countries including the United States, China, Belgium and Turkey, according to the report.

Another study by 'RAND Europe' institute also found that the US appears to be the most common source country for arms, 60 %, whereas Europe accounts for roughly 25%.

According to available data, there were more than 6,000 transactions to sell weapons through Facebook in the Middle East this year, and the number could be even much bigger.

British sources pointed out that many weapons' shipments that are made through social media often include those of thermal rockets and anti-aircraft weapons.

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