Pentagon seeks to continue arming its Syria 'partners'
The Pentagon is seeking to arm up to 65,000 members of a "U.S.-partnered force" in Syria, including the terror group PYD/PKK, according to its 2019 fiscal year budget proposal.
Publish date : Tuesday 17 April 2018 15:28
In the proposal submitted to the U.S. Congress for approval in February, Pentagon requested $300 million to arm and equip its partners in Syria for the fight against Daesh.
Also, $250 million was also requested for building “border security” in Syria.
The full report -- FY 2019 Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) Request Counter-ISIS (Daesh) Train and Equip Fund (CTEF) -- obtained by Anadolu Agency on Monday shows the U.S. administration’s willingness to arm and equip 30,000 for conducting ongoing combat missions against Daesh in the Middle Euphrates River Valley, and 35,000 "Internal Security Forces" in liberated areas across the country.
"To accomplish U.S. military objectives, partner force generation in Syria will be comprised of local forces that are demographically representative, appropriately vetted, trained, and equipped to ensure a safe and secure environment and capable of countering ISIS [Daesh]," it said in the budget proposal.
According to the proposal, the Pentagon plans to allocate $162.6 million of the $300 million on weapons, equipment, and vehicles, $8 million on base life support which provides basic humanitarian needs, $28 million on transportation and staging costs, and $101.5 million for operational sustainment.
Among the weapons being planned to be sent include 25,000 AK-47 automatic rifles, 1,500 light machine guns, 500 heavy machine guns, 400 RPG-7 rocket launchers, 95 sniper rifles, 20 60mm mortars and 60 120mm mortars.
Along with its total of $47 million cost, Pentagon also requested additional $24 million for ammunition of these weapons.
The U.S. has supported the PYD/PKK, which is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terror organization that has waged a more than 30-year terror campaign against the Turkish state that has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths.
American support for the terror group has long vexed Ankara as Washington views the PYD/PKK-led SDF as a "reliable partner" in its fight against Daesh and continues to provide it with arms and equipment in the face of strong objections by Turkey.