Syria increased its imports of heavy weapons by 580%, in the period between 2002 and 2011.
Syria in recent years (2007-2011) got 78% of its arms imports from Russia, including Buk-M2E SAM systems and Bastion-P coastal defense missile systems, and secured an order for 36 Yak-130 trainer/combat aircraft.
Belarus supplied Syria with 17% and Iran 5% of the arms imports during that period, the report says.
The governments of Syria, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya and Tunisia, countries that have had Arab Spring uprisings, used imported weapons in the suppression of peaceful demonstrations, the report asserts.
Egypt is the largest arms importer of those five countries, as its shipments coming mainly from the United States, as a report published by a think tank in Stockholm stated
“The transfer of arms to states affected by the Arab Spring has provoked public and parliamentary debate in a number of supplier states. However, the impact of these debates on states’ arms export policies has, up to now, been limited,” said Mark Bromley, senior researcher with the institute.