Turkey: US Arming ISIS Alongside Syrian Kurds

State Dept: US Never Armed Kurds

Speaking today about the growing tensions between Turkey and the US over the Syrian Civil War, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters he’d confronted Obama months ago over a series of arms shipments into northern Syria, reporting that half went to the Syrian Kurds, and the other half ended up with ISIS.

This likely refers to the October US airdrops into northern Syria, though this was the first suggestion that ISIS had not only received a huge cash of weapons, but Erdogan’s comments gave the impression the arming was deliberate.

The US State Department, for its part, responded to the comments by insisting they had never armed the Syrian Kurds, noteworthy both in totally ignoring the much more serious allegation of arming ISIS, and for being a flat out lie.

The October drops were nominally to the Syrian Arab Coalition, a faction which included a handful of tiny factions, but dominated by the Kurdish YPG, which confirmed that it recovered the bulk of the arms in the airdrops.

ISIS, of course, is also awash in US arms, though it has generally been assumed that this was a result of sacking Iraqi cities and looting what was left behind by the Iraqi military. Turkey, which itself is embroiled in scandals surrounding its military arming ISIS.


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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.