By Jason Ditz
Adding to the confusion about who exactly this week’s US airdrops of weapons into Syria’s Hasakeh Province actually targeted, the Pentagon today issued a statement insisting the “Arab groups” they targeted successfully got all of the aid, and hadn’t shared it with anyone.
The statement was directed at media reports that the Kurdish YPG, the largest faction in Hasakeh and a US ally, had recovered some of the gear, and the Pentagon seems to be trying to reassure Turkey, who is outraged at the idea of Kurds armed by the US, that this didn’t happen.
Totally unanswered, however, is who exactly the US arms went to, as these “Arab groups” that the Pentagon keeps referencing are never named, and so far don’t seem to be actively fighting in the Hasakeh Province in any meaningful way.
The “Arab Groups” were also referred to in some statements as the Syrian Arab Coalition, and was claimed to have included tribal factions as well as an unnamed Assyrian Christian militia. The YPG, however, claimed to have joined this faction; claimed to have renamed it the Democratic Forces; and claimed to have been promised arms by the US.
Turkey has been warning both the US and Russia that they won’t tolerate any cooperation of any kind with Kurdish factions, and Russia has since assured them they aren’t providing any direct armament to the Kurds, though they are said to be backing them in anti-ISIS operations.