SIPRI details arms transfer in MENA region
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) writes a report about the role some countries in the MENA play in the global arms trade and arms recipients, producers, and suppliers in MENA.
A report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has revealed the role some states in the Middle East and North Africa play in the global arms trade.
The report stated that countries in the Middle East and North Africa have since 2019 played a "growing role" in the global arms trade, "not only as arms importers but also increasingly as arms producers and exporters."
"Both Middle Eastern and North African states continue to rely heavily on imports for their military acquisitions and build-ups," the report said, adding that according to the SIPRI Arms Transfers Database, transfers of major conventional weapons to Middle Eastern states have grown considerably over the past 15 years."
Read: SIPRI: Europe's arms imports rise amid tensions with Russia
Besides the Israeli occupation, the report noted that six of the top 25 arms-importing states in 2017 – 21 (Egypt, Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UAE) were in the Middle East, the report added, noting that in "North Africa, Algeria and Morocco are the main importers, and in 2017 – 21 they were, respectively, the 11th and 25th largest recipients of major conventional weapons at the global level."
Many MENA states have developed - or are seeking to develop - their own arms industries, the report said, adding that this "has led some of them to establish limited licensed production of major conventional arms and SALW; for example armored vehicles in Algeria and Egypt, and anti-tank rockets in Jordan."
According to SIPRI’s data, "Jordan has also emerged as an exporter of major arms," and "it was the 25th largest supplier in 2017 – 21, although this was mainly due to the export of second-hand equipment (e.g. combat helicopters and armored personnel carriers)."
Turkey "has also been quite successful in developing its own arms industry and is able to partly or completely produce a wide range of weapon systems," the reports added, such as armored vehicles, ships, artillery, missiles, and uncrewed aerial vehicles, UAVs.
Turkey was "the 12th largest supplier of major arms for 2017 – 21," the report said.
SIPRI reported that Iran has gained the ability to create a variety of major weapons as well as SALW, such as combat and tactical UAVs. Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have recently attracted attention after claims that Russia had used them in Ukraine.