In light of recent events related to Syria, it is possible that companies will be approached by entities seeking to arm or otherwise assist the Syrian opposition or the Kurdish Peshmerga.  We remind companies subject to the ITAR that there are significant compliance issues associated with such transfers, whether directly to the opposition or the Kurds, or through third-party intermediaries or local partners.  Both Syria and Iraq are designated in section 126.1 of the ITAR as embargoed countries and any transfers, even if to forces allied or working with the US, could raise substantial export licensing concerns, and would likely require pre-approval of the US authorities, even at the proposal submission stage.  Moreover, this is a good time for defense and security companies that wish to sell products or services in the greater Middle East to redouble their efforts to exercise particular vigilance regarding vetting their customers (and potential intermediaries) to ensure that they are not selling to “front” organizations for terrorist organizations and state actors (Iran, Iraq and Syria) subject to very stringent US export controls and economic sanctions.  Such transactions could also raise U.S. anti-boycott law considerations and anti-corruption concerns, as well as potentially implicate local law restrictions, e.g., laws on intermediation, success fees, etc. in some Middle Eastern jurisdictions.