US sends truckloads of arms to Kurds in northern Syria: Reports
Iran Press TV
Thu May 25, 2017 9:16AM
The US has dispatched over 100 trucks loaded with armaments and ammunition to the Kurdish-controlled northern Syrian city of Hasakah over the past weeks, Turkish and Kurdish media say.
The US arms shipment was sent to the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) dominated by Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), the reports said.
The SDF is currently getting prepared to launch an offensive against Daesh in Raqqah, the terror group's main stronghold in Syria.
According to Turkey's Daily Sabah, the US arms shipment crossed into Syria from northern Iraq through the Simelka border on May 15 and May 20.
The convoys reportedly moved to Hasakah and later headed to the Raqqah region where the SDF forces are fighting against Daesh.
Based on Turkish media reports, the consignment consisted of US-made multiple rocket launchers, 80mm and 120mm heavy mortars as well as MK19 grenade launchers, M4 carbines and M16 infantry rifles alongside FGM-148 anti-tank missiles.
The convoys also included fuel tankers, Humvee armored vehicles and Cougar armored personnel carriers.
However, neither the US-led coalition nor the SDF has confirmed the delivery so far.
On May 9, the Pentagon confirmed a delivery of heavier weapons to the Kurdish militants after US President Donald Trump "authorized the Department of Defense to equip Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces as necessary to ensure a clear victory over ISIS (Daesh) in Raqqa."
The first shipment also included 120mm mortars, machines guns, ammunition and light armored vehicles.
The US decision to arm the Kurdish forces in Syria has sparked concern in Turkey.
Ankara perceives the YPG a terror organization and an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been engaged in a three-decade-long militancy against Ankara in Turkey's predominantly Kurdish southeast.
On Friday, Anadolu cited security sources as saying that the Turkish military had stepped up presence along its southern border and dispatched armored military vehicles and munitions to the area to respond to potential attacks by the YPG and PKK.
Since July 2015, Turkish air force has been carrying out operations against the PKK positions in the country's troubled southeastern border region as well as in northern Iraq and neighboring Syria.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|