A proposal submitted to Congress seeks funding of $300 million for US allies in Syria, which would include the YPG/PKK, who make up the bulk of US allies in the war-torn country.

The Pentagon in Washington, US, is seen from aboard Air Force One, March 29, 2018.
The Pentagon in Washington, US, is seen from aboard Air Force One, March 29, 2018. ( Reuters )

The Pentagon is seeking to arm up to 65,000 members of a "US-partnered force" in Syria, including the terror group YPG/PKK, according to its 2019 fiscal year budget proposal.

In the proposal submitted to the US Congress for approval in February, Pentagon requested $300 million to arm and equip its partners in Syria for the fight against Daesh.

In addition, $250 million was requested for building “border security” in Syria and Iraq.

The full report  FY 2019 Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) Request Counter-ISIS (Daesh) Train and Equip Fund (CTEF) shows the US administration’s intention to arm and equip 30,000 militants for ongoing combat missions against Daesh in the Middle Euphrates River Valley, and 35,000 "Internal Security Forces" in captured areas across the country.

"To accomplish US military objectives, partner force generation in Syria will be comprised of local forces that are demographically representative, appropriately vetted, trained, and equipped to ensure a safe and secure environment and capable of countering ISIS [Daesh]," said the budget proposal.

According to the proposal, the Pentagon was seeking to allocate $162.6 million of the $300 million on weapons, equipment, and vehicles, and $8 million on the operation of the military bases. This included sanitation, power and waste disposal. 

In addition, $28 million was needed for transportation and staging costs, while $101.5 million was requested for salaries and costs, including medical treatment.

Among the weapons being planned to be sent included 25,000 AK-47 automatic rifles, 1,500 light machine guns, 500 heavy machine guns, 400 RPG-7 rocket launchers, 95 sniper rifles, twenty 60- millimetre mortars and sixty 120-millimetre mortars.

These weapons were expected to cost a total of $47 million while a further $24 million was required for ammunition. 

The US has supported the YPG, which is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terror organisation that has waged a more than 30-year terror campaign against the Turkish state that has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths.

American support for the terror group has long vexed Ankara as Washington views the YPG/PKK-led SDF as a "reliable partner" in its fight against Daesh and continues to provide it with arms and equipment in the face of strong objections by Turkey.

The report does not mention US troops based in Syria or their cost.

Source: AA