Pentagon confirms ammunition delivery to northern Syria

Pentagon confirms dropping ammunition into hands of ‘friendly factions’ in northern Syria

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A Boeing C-17 Globemaster III military transport aircraft of the United States Air Force

The Pentagon admitted on Wednesday that the US cargo planes dropped “small arms ammunition” for the newly-formed coalition led by Kurdish YPG, armed wing of the PYD autonomous administration.    

“The aircraft delivery includes small arms ammunition to resupply local forces to enable them to continue operations against Daesh [ISIS],” said Pentagon spokeswoman, Elissa Smith.

The ammunition was reportedly dropped in Syria's Hasakah province for a coalition of groups dubbed Syrian Democratic Forces, which are led by the YPG, whose militants are being accused of committing war crimes by the Amnesty International.

Amnesty International, the London-based rights watchdog, released a report on Tuesday saying more than a dozen villages have been destroyed by the PYD, which is supported by the United States, describing the actions of PYD as war crimes.

The US has already announced it stopped the ‘train and equip program’ for Syrian opposition groups, instead it would provide weapons and equipment packages for “friendly factions” in Syria, as long as they are not affiliated with any terrorist groups.

However, the majority of the ammunition has been dropped into the hands of the YPG militants, who are the Syrian affiliate of the outlawed PKK, which is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, NATO and EU.

“This focus on equipping and enabling will allow us to reinforce the progress already made in countering ISIL [ISIS] in Syria,” said Pentagon spokeswoman, Elissa Smith.

Meanwhile, Russia who is providing military aid to the Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad since the beginning of the conflict and who has intervened in the country two weeks ago, making this their first international military operation since the Cold War era, said it believed some of the dropped arms were seized by “terrorists.”

“We are quite sure that a significant part of this ammunition will be caught by terrorists,”  said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday.

“We looked at the structure of the Syrian Democratic Forces coalition and detected that there were some groups that had been cooperating with Daesh before,” Lavrov said.

TRTWorld and agencies