Last week’s US announcement of the supplies of “heavy weaponry” to the Kurdish YPG in Syria was a big deal for the regional balance of power, but somewhat shrouded in mystery by the Pentagon’s refusal to say exactly what was being sent.
Syrian Kurdish social media exacerbated that speculation, “recycling” images of US armored vehicles, including MRAPs and M1A1 Abrams battle tanks, on their accounts intended to represent the vehicles being delivered to them by the Americans.
In reality, no Abrams nor any MRAPs are being sent to the YPG at all, according to those familiar with the situation, and the only vehicles expected to be sent to the Kurds are some M1117 Guardian armored vehicles, and what was described as “up-armored Fords,” with most of the aid still amounting to small arms and ammunition.
Kurdish officials appear to believe that claiming they are getting large tanks and other major vehicles will “boost morale,” even if the tanks are never actually seen on the battlefield, not existing and all. It is also believed this is an effort to further needle Turkey, which is already outraged by the shipments.
All of this could be conveniently resolved, of course, by the Pentagon just confirming what they sent, but officials insist they don’t want ISIS to know the YPG’s full capabilities, which boils down to the US being willingly complicit in the lie.