The U.S. has delivered a new round of ammunition to Syrian Arab fighters who say they are fighting against the Islamic State in northern Syria.
The first time that such a munitions drop occurred, reports surfaced that much of the aid ended up making its way into the hands of Kurdish forces. Turkey, a NATO ally that views several Kurdish factions as enemies, objected to Washington’s suspected clandestine program to arm Kurdish forces.
This time around, the Pentagon continues to assert that the latest weapon drop is only intended for the Syrian Arab Coalition, a fighting force made up of roughly 5,000 fighters, divided among a dozen or so groups.
Twenty4 or so Syrian Arab leaders reportedly met with U.S. military officials in Erbil over the summer, as part of a vetting process that could assure the Pentagon these men would not take up arms in alliance with either the Assad regime or ISIS.
Resupply operations were conducted over the weekend, an unnamed U.S. officials told Reuters.
Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis declined to comment on the most recent resupply effort, but told the news agency that the U.S. continues to support Syrian Arabs in their efforts against the Islamic State terror group.
However, a military official confirmed with Fox News that “the ammunition was flown into Erbil and then driven out [west].” The ammo transport was delivered over land, unlike the first resupply effort that was conducted through cargo airdrops. The aid transfer was limited to small arms ammunition, and did not include any heavy weaponry, such as RPGs or TOW missiles, the official said.
The first airdrop was “conducted by U.S. Air Force C-17 cargo aircraft flying from the U.S. Central Command [Centcom] area of responsibility,” a Pentagon spokesperson told Breitbart News in October. “The aircraft delivery includes small arms ammunition to resupply counter-ISIL ground forces so that they can continue operations against ISIL. All aircraft exited the drop area safely,” the spokesperson added.