The U.S. military airdropped 50 tons of ammo and grenades to the Syrian rebel fighters – the same rebels perceived as targets by the Russian aviation. The supplies on Sunday were not intended for the Syrian Kurds or the YPG as they were perceived as enemies by Turkey which in return is a U.S./NATO ally. The tons of ammo however were airdropped into Al-Hasakah province, which is home to Syrian Kurds, Arabs and Assyrian community.
According to Pentagon sources who have spoken on condition of anonymity with Fox News, the supply of ammo reached friendly forces. The source said it was like the supplying they did in Kobani early this year for the YPG who were fighting against the ISIS.
Col. Steve Warren, spokesman for the US-led coalition against the ISIS, confirmed to Fox News the airdrop made on Sunday. “The aircraft delivery includes small arms ammunition to resupply counter-ISIL ground forces so that they can continue operations against ISIL. All aircraft exited the drop area safely,” Warren said. He explained further that the weapon supply was intended as part of the U.S. “train and equip” mission which was canceled last week.
The government decided last week that it will stop training rebel fighters but instead will focus on equipping them. “Secretary of Defense Ash Carter is now directing the Department of Defense to provide equipment packages and weapons to a select group of vetted leaders and their units so that over time they can make a concerted push into territory still controlled by ISIL (ISIS),” Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a press conference on Oct. 9. “This focus on equipping and enabling will allow us to reinforce the progress already made in countering ISIL in Syria,” Cook said.
Cook said the Pentagon is convinced that as lasting defeat of ISIS in Syria will depend in part on the success of local, motivated and capable ground forces. Russian president Vladimir Putin, on the other hand, believed that the effective means is to annihilate all rebel fighters, ISIS or non-ISIS group included. The Russian offensive in Syria is designed this way.
On Oct. 12, the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation announced that its air force stationed in the Syrian Arab republic continues strikes against the ISIS. In just a matter of 24 hours, Russian military aircraft Su-34, Su 24 and Su-25SM have performed sorties engaging 53 ISIS objects in the Homs, Hamah, Lattakia and Idlib provinces. The sorties destroyed 24 ISIS defensive positions containing weapons; a terrorist strong point in Lattakia; seven command centers of militants; sic terrorist field training camps; six ammunition depots; a column of automobile vehicles; three underground shelters in the Lattakia province; one mobile mortar group.