U.S. air drops ammunition to Syria rebels

John Davison and Phil Stewart — Reuters Oct 12, 2015

Airdrop. Click to enlarge

Airdrop. Click to enlarge

U.S. forces have carried out an air drop of small arms ammunition to Syrian Arab rebels in northern Syria, barely two weeks after Russia raised the stakes by intervening in the war on the side of President Bashar al-Assad.

A U.S. military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Monday the air drop of supplies to the opposition fighters on Sunday was part of a revamped U.S. strategy announced last week to help rebels in Syria battling Islamic State militants.

Last week, Washington shelved a programme to train and equip “moderate” rebels opposed to Assad who would join the fight against Islamic State.

The only group on the ground to have success against Islamic State while cooperating with the U.S.-led coalition is a Kurdish militia, the YPG, which has carved out an autonomous zone in northern Syria and advanced deep into Islamic State’s stronghold Raqqa province.

On Monday, the YPG announced a new alliance with small groups of Arab fighters, which could help deflect criticism that it fights only on behalf of Kurds. Washington has indicated that it could direct funding and weapons to Arab commanders on the ground who cooperate with the YPG.

Syrian Arab rebels said they had been told by Washington that new weapons were on their way to help them launch a joint offensive with their Kurdish allies on the city of Raqqa, the de facto Islamic State capital.

The Russian intervention in Syria has wrongfooted the U.S. administration of President Barack Obama, which has been trying to defeat Islamic State while still calling for Assad’s downfall.

DANGEROUS CONSEQUENCES

Continues …

Comment — Oct 12, 2015

Syrian “opposition groups” covers a wide range of groups many of which are not even Syrian: from the al Qaeda aligned al Nusra group to the ostensibly “moderate” Western approved opposition groups.
So in the fog of war how can the U.S. be sure that its airdrops are actually falling to Western approved fighters? In short: it can’t. There is no certainty that airdrops wont fall into the hands of extremists, especially in the confusion of war.
This has been highlighted by the fact that there have been numerous reports of U.S. airdrops having fallen into the hands of ISIS. The U.S. claims these airdrops were were simply an error.
However, reports of U.S. airdrops to Islamic State fighters continue to mount: time and again the U.S. has reportedly airdropped weapons and supplies to ISIS by “mistake”.
Leading some to conclude that the U.S. is covertly but deliberately arming Islamic State; the objective being for them to assist in the ousting of President Assad.
Are the airdrops reported above part of the same duplicitous scheme?
Adding to the confusion is the fact that the Reuters reports relies towards its conclusion (not shown but linked) on information from the UK based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
For the uninitiated the SOHR is run by one man, Rami Abdul Rahman, from a two-bedroom house in Coventry, England, far from the front Syrian lines. So although a native Syrian, by his own admission Abdul Rahman has not been back to his homeland for fifteen years.
Leaving him safely ensconced in the West and wide open to manipulation by Western intelligence in their efforts to shape the media discourse.

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