US government determination to show how pro-rebel they were during the
Syrian War by shipping large amounts of anti-tank missiles to various
rebel groups could come back to haunt them. That’s because while many of
these groups are defeated, few of the weapons are accounted for, and a
lot are known to have ended up in the hands of other militant factions.
While problems keeping track of US arms were identified almost immediately,, they were never really corrected. At this point, US anti-tank missiles are now part of the arsenal of militant groups across the Middle East. With the US remaining heavily engaged in the area, it seems only a matter of time before those US missiles are turned against US troops.
From the first CIA efforts to smuggle weapons into Syria for the rebels, those weapons have rarely found their intended target, and many times ended up in the hands of al-Qaeda or ISIS. This was true of early small arms and ammunition, and just as true of later shipments of missiles and other arms.
Such groups have historically had to rely on smuggling decades-old Soviet-era surplus out of places like Libya, but now such groups have ready access to modern, US-made arms. How they will choose to use them remains to be seen, but the track record suggests it won’t be good for the US.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
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- Manbij Attack Gives US Hawks, and ISIS, Exactly What They Want - January 17th, 2019