Kurdish Fighters Selling US-Supplied Weapons on Black Market – Reports
The US provides weapons and other military equipment to allied Kurds fighting in Northern Syria.
Just as Washington has ramped up its support for Kurdish units in Syria, the fighters are selling their US-made weapons on the black market to make up for their expenses, the Arabic-language Daily Sabah reported, citing local sources in Northern Syria.
In keeping with an agreement between the US and Turkey, the Kurdish forces are to withdraw from Manbij and other areas west of the Euphrates River and surrender their weapons to the UN before the end of this year.
According to the sources, the Kurdish fighters fear that once they have handed over their weapons, Turkey might launch a new military operation against them in Northern Syria.
“Hence, they are selling the weapons to other militant groups that operate in the same region,” they added.
The US has delivered light and heavy weapons on a large number of trucks to the Kurdish forces in northern Syria under the pretext of fighting Daesh, Fars News reported.
Earlier this month, the US dispatched a new 200-truck military convoy to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Hasaka province in Northern Syria.
The Arabic-language al-Watan daily quoted local sources as saying that the US-led coalition had sent several personnel carriers and armored vehicles from Iraq to the Kurdish units stationed in Northeastern Hasaka.
The US looks upon the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) as an ally in Syria and a constituent part of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which has allegedly been trained, equipped and monitored by the Americans.
In December 2017, President Donald Trump approved providing $393 million worth of weapons to what Washington calls partners in Syria, including the YPG. Shortly thereafter, the US announced its intention to set up an all-Kurdish battalion comprising about 30,000 people, which was supposed to be deployed along the Turkish border.
Washington’s move was condemned by Turkey which launched a military operation in January aimed at ousting SDF forces from areas in northern Syria near the Turkish border.