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Rudaw

Syria

US unsure if Kurds recovered weapons airdropped into Syria

By Yerevan Saeed 16/10/2015
Kurdish YPG fighters taking position inside a school. July 2015. Photo: AFP
Kurdish YPG fighters taking position inside a school. July 2015. Photo: AFP

WASHINGTON DC—Amid conflicting reports on the delivery of weapons and ammunition airdropped into northern Syria last week, the US military said Thursday it wasn’t sure if the Kurds had recovered any of the packages.

“I don’t have a breakdown of exactly where those—where everything went,” said the US Defense Dept. Spokesman Peter Cook. “My understanding is that…this specifically went to Syrian Arab forces and that there were other groups, opposition groups that may have also been able to recover some of the weaponry as well.”

American C-17 transport planes airdropped 45 tons of weapons and ammunitions in Syria’s Hassakeh province last Sunday, which the US military said was destined for Syrian Arab rebels fighting the Islamic State (ISIS).

Following the airdrop, the Kurdish Peoples Protection Units (YPG) announced that the US had supplied them with new defense articles.

The Obama administration however, quickly denied the Kurds’ claim about the delivery though the Pentagon and State Department briefly admitted on Thursday that some of the weapons had gone to the Kurds.

“Yes, yes. That's my understanding — Kurdish forces as well,” said Cook, pressed by reporters.

This brief admission was followed by a statement posted on the Pentagon website, insisting that the airdrop was only intended for US-approved Syrian rebels.

“Sunday’s airdrop in northern Syria was intended for and successfully delivered to vetted Syrian Arab forces,” read the statement. “We have no indication at this time that any of that equipment was shared with any other groups,”

It is likely that the Kurdish YPG has taken possession of at least some of the weapons delivery since the group has a heavy presence in the Hassakeh region where it has repelled successive ISIS attacks in the last two years.

Earlier this week, Salih Muslim, head of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) who commands the YPG confirmed that the US had supplied arms to the YPG and that more was on the way.

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FAUthman | 16/10/2015
This is embarrassing. This reluctance to utter the words Kurd or Kurdish and be so careful not upset Turkey diminishes the stature of the United States in the region and the world. Obama has already approved the formation of the "Syrian Democratic Forces" in Rojava (20,000 Kurds who are the majority and 5000 Arabs, Christian Syriacs and others) Why not then just say the weapons were intended to this group, the "Syrian Democratic Forces" and be done and not look so feeble about it. This is unexpected and a disappointment.
Dutchman | 16/10/2015
The US is dropping weapons and ammunition in YPG-area's, but it is officially for anyone but the YPG. The US does not want to offend Turkey. YPG, just take the weapons and ammunition, but don't speak about at. The less you talk about it, the more the US will drop.
Flaminco | 16/10/2015
Since the US administration insist that the arms and ammunition were for the 'Arab rebels' may I suggest YPG let these 'Arab rebels' do the fighting from now on? let's see if they dare attack ISIS on any front, or take one inch of land from them.
Riha | 16/10/2015
LOLOLOLOLOL The USA is unsure where the weapons went. They are a complete joke compared to the professionality of Russia. That beer belly Salih Muslim and that old witch Asya Abdullah is getting out of hand, but Redur Xelil taught him a lesson. Redur Xelil told him to shut the fuck about military operations and weapons or whatever nonsense, just keep with your politics. It seems that the stupid PYD favors the USA and the heroic YPG favors Russia. GO YPG
A Kurd in exile | 17/10/2015
We all know how strong the Turkish lobby is in America, and how much Turkey is against the U.S. giving arms to the Syrian Kurds. So, maybe it is time for Salih Muslim to stop talking and giving so many interviews about this issue.
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