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Mar 23 2019

French company says rocket propellant supply sold to Turkey now with ISIS

French sugar group Tereos admitted that some 45 tons of French-produced sorbitol, an artificial sweetener that can be used to make rocket propellants, had vanished in Turkey in 2015 and resurfaced in the Islamic State’s (ISIS) basements in Syria, Asharq Al-Awsat reported.

Business partners of the French sugar giant filed a complaint this week against the company for allegedly supplying sorbitol to Syria, where it was used to make weapons.

According documents from the anti-terror prosecutor’s office seen by Agence France-Presse, Tereos denies the accusations over “acts of terrorism and complicity in acts of terrorism”.

Confronted with the findings by the Conflict Armament Research (CAR) NGO, Tereos admitted that some 45 tons of French-produced sorbitol sold to Turkey in 2015 resurfaced a year later in Syria, Asharq Al-Awsat said.

According to Erk Acarer, a columnist from Turkey’s oopposition Birgün daily, Tereos said that it had sold sorbitol to a Turkish businessman and it was later sent to Syrian town of al-Bab from Gebze in northwest Turkey through southeastern province of Gaziantep.

The Jerusalem Post in Dec. 2016 reported that some 100 bags of Sorbitol manufactured by the French company Tereos were found alongside a bag of potassium nitrate made by the Turkish company Toros during an Iraqi counter-terrorism operation in Mosul.

“What was striking about the Sorbitol is that it was produced in 2015, a year after ISIS atrocities became well known and an international coalition of more than 62 countries signed on to fight the extremists,” the Jerusalem Post said. https://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/ISIS-Threat/ISIS-supply-lines-reached…

When CAR released a report in December 2017, Tereos insisted it had “suspended its sorbitol supplies to so-called high-risk areas” shortly after the Mosul discovery, Asharq Al-Awsat said.

An internal company investigation has shown that two shipments of sorbitol were made to Syria in February and July of 2017, according to the plaintiffs.