On Wednesday morning, a member of the al-Qaeda franchise in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, posted a photo online of a colleague posing with his “brand-new U.S. machine gun,” which he claimed was handed over by the U.S.-trained Division 30. He even threw in a jaunty quote from Scarface: “Say hello to my little friend.”
Say hello to my little friend. A friend of mine with a brand new US machine gun delivered by US-trained Div30 members pic.twitter.com/77d6B9ERXV
— Abu Saeed Al-Halabi (@Saeed_AlHalabi6) September 29, 2015
Twitchy posted further messages from al-Halabi promising that more photos of American equipment surrendered by Division 30 would be forthcoming. Another al-Qaeda fighter has been previously photographed using what appears to be an American sniper rifle:
— Green lemon (@green_lemonnn) September 23, 2015
The usual caution about unverified claims from groups like al-Qaeda and their Nusra Front should be observed, although there does not seem to have been any official rush to debunk these images.
Such debunking would be very helpful to sustaining the Obama Administration’s confused narrative about the second wave of 71 fighters from Division 30, who have been the subject of both unconfirmed rumors from Syria and retracted denials from the Pentagon. The current Administration line is that “New Syrian Force” fighters from this division surrendered a quarter of their vehicles, plus an unspecified portion of their ammunition, to the Nusra Front in order to buy “safe passage” into Syria, after which they seem to have disappeared, aside from popping up in a few snapshots with a commander who isn’t supposed to be commanding them.
The darker rumors out of Syria hold that the New Syrian Force surrendered some, or all, of their American weapons to al-Qaeda, and might even have defected to join up with them. The Obama Administration dismisses such claims, and photos like the ones Jabhat al-Nusra posted on Twitter, as propaganda.