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WASHINGTON — The Pentagon dropped 50 tons of ammunition and weapons this weekend to 5,000 Syrian fighters based north of the Islamic State capital of Raqqa as part of the new U.S. equip-only strategy in aiding rebels in that country.
But it is not clear whether these fighters face the same restrictions in using the weapons as rebels who took part in the failed train-and-equip program that was officially abandoned Friday. Previously, U.S.-provided arms were not to be used against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.
Col. Steve Warren, a Baghdad-based spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, said Tuesday the U.S. military dropped weapons Sunday to rebels called the Syrian Arab Coalition that included 100 pallets of 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm machine gun ammunition, hand grenades, mortar rounds and rocket-propelled grenades.
But Warren did not say Tuesday whether the rebels are restricted from using the weapons against Assad’s forces.
“The Syrian Arab Coalition is nowhere near the Assad regime, so it’s kind of a moot point,” he said. “We are looking for forces who are looking for the same objective we have.”
The weapons drop is a departure from a $500 million, highly structured vetting, training and equipping program that the U.S. tried to launch this year at four sites outside of Syria, in Jordan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. That program tried to recruit and train up to 5,000 Syrian moderate rebels each year for three years and give them basic infantry skills and equipment, before returning them to Syria.
Islamic State militants have lost "most" of their ammunition, heavy vehicles and equipment in Russian airstrikes, the Defense Ministry said Tuesday. At least 86 ISIS targets were hit during 88 sorties in the last 24 hours.
Russian anti-terror op in Syria
Sukhoi Su-24M and Su-34 bombers, together with Su-25SM ground support aircrafts targeted Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) sites in the provinces of Raqqah, Hama, Idlib, Latakia and Aleppo, according to the ministry. The jets hit command posts, ammunition and armament depots, military vehicles, plants producing explosives, field camps and bases.
originally posted by: Xcathdra
originally posted by: InnerPeace2012
If anything, America has just declared war against Syria and Russia!
not really no.
originally posted by: all2human
a reply to: InnerPeace2012
A war between Russia and the USA would be globally devastating and not profitable
guaranteed there are back-door communications to keep this from happening.
I expect any mishaps with aircraft in Syria will quickly be covered up and/or declared mechanical
Yes our owners are insane but not stupid.
originally posted by: FormOfTheLord
So begins the supply line to the rebels/ terrorists! This is supposed to be the first of many, supply drops that will be comming to the rebels.
U.S. Delivers 50 Tons Of Ammunition To Syria Rebel Groups
CNN)U.S. military cargo planes gave 50 tons of ammunition to rebel groups overnight in northern Syria, using an air drop of 112 pallets as the first step in the Obama Administration's urgent effort to find new ways to support those groups.
Details of the air mission over Syria were confirmed by a U.S. official not authorized to speak publicly because the details have not yet been formally announced.
C-17s, accompanied by fighter escort aircraft, dropped small arms ammunition and other items like hand grenades in Hasakah province in northern Syria to a coalition of rebels groups vetted by the US, known as the Syrian Arab Coalition.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the Kremlin that any "attack on Turkey means an attack on Nato".
"If Russia loses a friend like Turkey, with whom it has a lot of co-operation, it is going to lose a lot of things. It needs to know this," Mr Erdogan said.
Moscow says the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group has suffered major losses in Russia’s ongoing airstrikes against its positions in Syria, highlighting that a great proportion of munitions used by the militants has been destroyed.
“Russian airstrikes resulted in the elimination of the majority of ISIS (Daesh) ammunition, heavy vehicles and equipment,” the Defense Ministry tweeted on Tuesday.
"According to radio intercepts in the Hama and Homs provinces, the militants experience an acute shortage of ammunition for small arms and grenade launchers. Some field commanders have stated demands to their leadership that if they do not receive arms in the near future, they will withdraw their groups from the combat zone," Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov also told reporters in the capital, Moscow.