World Bulletin / News Desk
The U.S. is sensitive to Turkey’s concerns about Kurdish rebels in Syria, an American defense official said Friday, reiterating that ammunition airdropped last weekend was not recovered by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).
“I can tell you that we are very confident that the material that we airdropped was received by Syrian Arab Coalition Forces,” Central Command spokesman Col. Pat Ryder said during a teleconference with reporters at the Pentagon.
“We are sensitive to some of the concerns that our Turkish partners have and again, it was not an airdrop to the Syrian Kurds,” he added.
He also said that every bundle of the airdrop was recovered by the intended group, adding that he would acknowledge if any of the bundles went astray.
Ryder’s comments came a day after a Pentagon spokesman who in response to an Anadolu Agency question said Kurdish rebel groups recovered some of the ammunition, only to have the agency quickly backpedal on those remarks.
The military said Sunday that it had dropped 50 tons of ammunitions to a Syrian rebel group called the Syrian Arab Coalition Forces, but has been reluctant to say whether Kurdish forces received any of the supplies.
PYD leader Saleh Muslim said earlier this week that his group’s military wing, the People Protection Units (YPG) forces received weapons from the U.S.
Although Ryder denied Muslim’s claims and said he had no idea why the PYD leader made such a statement, he left a big hole open in the puzzle in the northern Syria.
Days before the U.S. airdrop in northern Syria, small groups of Arab rebels joined with the PYD and formed a coalition under an umbrella group called Syrian Democratic Force.
Ryder acknowledged the formation of the group but deflected an Anadolu Agency question about whether the group that received supplies, the Syrian Arab Coalition Forces, was included in the umbrella organization.
He did say, however, that the new U.S. supported group in Syria fights ISIL “in some cases in concert with Syrian Kurds and also other groups like Turkmens, Christians and other tribal elements”.
Noting the success of Kurdish rebels in pushing back ISIL in Kobani, Ryder pointed out that the airdrop was a part of the effort to build on those successes, as well as helping Syrian Arabs put more pressure on ISIL in northeastern cities, such as Raqqah, that are predominantly populated by Arabs.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Ekim 2015, 10:12