US to send more cargo with ‘heavier packages’ to Syria

US official says Pentagon ready to send ‘heavier packages’ with weapons to northern Syria to rebels fighting against ISIS

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

The United States is ready to send more supplies to the rebels fighting against ISIS militants in northern Syria, a US official said on Thursday, less than a week after US cargo planes dropped ammunition packages to the area.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Pentagon will also boost the packages with weapons only when the oppositions on the ground can prove they are fighting against ISIS.

"There will be more deliveries but only if they can demonstrate that they have used it in an effective way against ISIL [ISIS]," the official told AFP.

"As they demonstrate results, the packages will get heavier and US strikes will occur in places that are advantageous to their operations."

"We've left the door open to more things to include some weaponry.”

The Pentagon announced 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 ammunition was reportedly dropped in Syria's Hasakah province for a coalition of groups dubbed Syrian Democratic Forces, which are led by the YPG, the Syrian branch of the outlawed PKK which is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, NATO, and EU.

The move of ammunition delivery came short after the US announced it stopped the “train and equip” program for Syrian oppositions fighting against ISIS militants.

Stopping decision of the 500-million-dollar train and equip project was influenced by the Russian intervention in Syria, according to critics.

Russia had announced it’s presence in Syria, first abroad intervention of Moscow since the end of the Cold War era, was with the aim of fighting against ISIS.

However, Russian fighter jets began bombing opposition forces in Syria on September 30, just hours after lawmakers in the upper house of parliament in Moscow unanimously approved military action in Syria.

According to the US, Russia’s vast majority of air strikes are aimed at opposition factions in Syria for backing the close ally regime leader Bashar al Assad, and strikes are damaging civilians, forcing them to flee their homes.

Russia has also been criticised over its air strikes "since they benefit ISIS militants in Syria and led them gain ground."

At least 250.000 people have been killed since the beginning of the conflict in Syria in 2011, according to the United Nations data.

TRTWorld and agencies