Despite pledges to account for every U.S. weapon sent to Syrian fighters battling the Islamic State, the Pentagon’s current plan to ensure they don’t fall in the wrong hands is problematic, experts say.

Last month, following the Pentagon’s announcement that it was going to provide “small arms” to Syrian Kurds fighting the Islamic State, the spokesman for the U.S-led coalition in Iraq and Syria, then-Col. John Dorrian, tweeted that “every single one of these weapons” will be “accounted for and pointed at” the Islamic State.

Col. Ryan Dillon, the new spokesman for the coalition, told reporters Thursday that this means Syrian commanders will “sign for by serial number” all the equipment and weapons that they are given. He added that the U.S. troops acting as advisers to the Syrian forces will also ensure the weapons are not misused and that those commanders have been properly vetted.

via Pentagon plan to track weapons provided to Syrian forces is problematic, experts say – The Washington Post


In blow to U.S.-Turkey ties, Trump administration approves plan to arm Syrian Kurds against Islamic State – The Washington Post – Pentagon spokeswoman Dana W. White said the president made the decision Monday, describing the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a diverse group dominated by Kurdish fighters, as “the only force on the ground that can successfully seize Raqqa in the near future.” For more than a year, the U.S. military has been advancing plans to capture Raqqa, the Syrian city that is the Islamic State’s de facto capital, as the final major step in its nearly three-year effort to defeat the militant group.

“We are keenly aware of the security concerns of our coalition partner Turkey,” White said in a statement. “We want to reassure the people and government of Turkey that the U.S. is committed to preventing additional security risks and protecting our NATO ally.”

Inside the Kurdish fighting forces: the U.S.’s proxy ground troops in the war against ISIS – The Washington Post

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