Just five days after the US State Department denied that the US had supplied any weapons to any Syrian Kurdish forces, in response to complaints from the Turkish government about all their shipments, Secretary of State John Kerry is bragging about the scheme.
Though Kerry didn’t offer any split on how the arms were distributed among various Kurdish factions, he insisted 41,000 grenades and 60,000 anti-tank rounds, along with 1,000 unguided missiles, had been sent to the Kurdish forces, along with more than 150 US vehicles.
Though that would include Kurdish groups in Iraq as well as Syria, 41,000 grenades is definitely more than “no weapons,” and Kerry’s talk of a plan to send another 5 million rounds of ammunition for heavy machine guns shipped just adds to the effort.
While arming the Kurds is largely uncontroversial within the US, which is why Kerry felt comfortable bragging it up, it is wildly opposed by Turkey, which is why the State Department felt the need to deny it. Kerry’s admission led to Congressional calls to do more, and are almost certain to fuel more condemnation by Turkey.