What the West Owes Syrians US and European Arms Sales to the Middle East: 2011-2014

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Diana Bashur


While the last two years have seen heated discussions in Europe and the US about the costs of hosting Syrian and other refugees, debate is lacking about another aspect of Western countries’ involvement in the region’s conflicts: the extent of arms sales to the Middle East. Between 2011 and 2014 based on conservative estimates Europe earned €21 billion from the arms trade with the Middle East while it spent €19 billion on hosting approximately one million Syrian refugees. During that same period, the US earned at least €18 billion from weapons sales, while accepting only about 11,000 Syrian refugees.

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