U.S. airdrops ammunition to Syria rebels

U.S. airdrops ammunition to Syria rebels


A military official said the drop, by Air Force C-17 cargo planes in northern Syria on Sunday, was portion of a revamped U.S. strategy declared last week to help rebels in Syria battling Islamic State militants.

Last week, Washington shelved a programme to train and equip “moderate” rebels fought to Assad who would join the fight against Islamic State.

On Monday, a fresh alliance was declared by the YPG with small groups of Arab combatants, which may help deflect criticism it fights only on behalf of Kurds. Washington has indicated it could direct weapons and funding on the ground who collaborate together with the YPG.

Amnesty International, in a brand new report, accused the YPG of committing war crimes by driving out thousands of non-Kurdish civilians and demolishing their dwellings in Kurdish-controlled areas. A YPG spokesman called it “a false allegation.”

The U.S. military supported dropping supplies to resistance fighters vetted by the United States but would say no more about the groups that received the supplies or the variety of equipment in the airdrop.

Syrian Arab rebels said they have been told by Washington that new weapons were on their way to greatly help them launch a joint offensive with their Kurdish allies on the town of Raqqa, the de facto Islamic State capital.

The Russian intervention in the four-year Syrian war has caught U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration off guard. Washington continues to be striving to defeat Islamic State while still calling for Assad’s downfall. Russian President Vladimir Putin was rebuffed in his bid to achieve support for his country’s bombing effort, with Saudi sources saying they’d warned the Kremlin leader of results that were dangerous and Europe issuing its strongest criticism yet.