“Military equipment worth millions of dollars was recently stolen by an unknown armed group from an airbase 550km south of Baghdad in Basra, Iraq’s third largest city,” Arab Weekly reported last week.
“Nothing is easier in Iraq than establishing an armed group or a gang,” said Yahya Ali, an Iraqi security expert. “The different uniforms of Iraq’s military and security forces, as well as other related items, are being sold in major cities, including Baghdad. “I paid 20,000 Iraqi dinars (about $15) for it and the seller did not ask for any ID confirming that I’m an army officer,” he said. There anyone can buy all sorts of military equipment and gear and smuggle the goods out in cars equipped with dark tinted glass windows.
The illegal market has become so bold that pages and pages of ads are appearing on Facebook for sale of the weapons, ammunition and equipment. The seller provides a disposable mobile number to protect himself and the purchasers.
“Anyone can buy weapons, ammunition or military equipment without any questions,” one purchaser told Arab Weeky. Facebook has attempted to ban some of the pages, but more pop up.
The Iraq economy was thriving with legitimate business before the U.S. invaded. Now the market is the product of a 14 year war with guns, prostitution, drugs and other black market items being sold.
CCTV VIDEO With violence continuing across Iraq, the black market for guns is thriving. CCTV News visited one such market near Erbil, where guns ranging from the WWII era to even Chinese-made AK47s are sold openly.