Swiss Grenades in Syrian Rebel Hands Were Given to UAE

Officials Promise to Review Other Arms Sales

Capping a multi-month probe into photographs showing Syrian rebels in possession of Swiss-made hand grenades, the Swiss government says that it has concluded the weapons were initially exported to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) years ago.

The commission found that the UAE gave a portion of its shipment to Jordan to “fight terrorism” and speculated that those grenades had somehow found their way into Syria, though they give no indication of how.

The UAE is one of several gulf nations openly backing the Syrian rebels. Despite this, they seem to be denying allegations that they directly sent the weapons to them.

Switzerland says that since 2006 all exports have come with a conditional promise not to “re-export” them and that these grenades were send to the UAE before such deals were in place. They have promised to probe other arms exports to “various countries” from before that date to make sure that other weapons aren’t finding their way into civil wars.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of