The Bashar al-Assad regime got some financial help over the summer from its friends in Moscow. Flight records obtained by ProPublica show that a Syrian Air Force jet ferried 240 tons of bank notes from Moscow to Damascus between July 9 and Sept. 15. Neither government would comment on the flights or confirm that the logs were accurate, but Syria’s economy has crumbled in the wake of its 20-month long civil war. Because of sanctions, the Assad regime lost contact with an Austrian bank that it used to print Syrian currency. As the cost of the war skyrockets, Assad’s government has had to find creative ways of financing its military.
SPECIAL DELIVERY Anwar Amro, AFP / Getty Images