US Airdropped Arms in IS Hands

US Airdropped Arms in IS HandsUS Airdropped Arms in IS Hands

At least one bundle of US weapons airdropped in Syria appears to have fallen into the hands of IS, a dangerous misfire in the American mission to speed aid to Kurdish forces making their stand in Kobane.

An IS-associated YouTube account posted a new video online Tuesday entitled, “Weapons and munitions dropped by American planes and landed in the areas controlled by the Islamic State in Kobane.” The video was also posted on the Twitter account of “a3maq news,” which acts as an unofficial media arm of IS, the Daily Beast reported.

IS had broadly advertised its acquisition of a broad range of US-made weapons during its rampage across Iraq. IS videos have showed its fighters driving US tanks, MRAPs, Humvees. There are also unconfirmed reports IS has stolen three fighter planes from Iraqi bases it conquered.

The authenticity of this latest video could not be independently confirmed, but the IS fighters in the video are in possession of a rich bounty of American hand grenades, rounds for small rockets, and other supplies that they will surely turn around and use on the Kurdish forces they are fighting in and around the Turkish border city.

On Monday, White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said the US government was confident that the emergency airdropped supplies for the Kurdish forces near Kobane were falling into the right hands.

“We feel very confident that, when we air drop support as we did into Kobane… we’ve been able to hit the target in terms of reaching the people we want to reach,” Rhodes told CNN. “What I can assure people is that, when we are delivering aid now, we focus it on the people we want to receive that assistance. Those are civilians in need. Those are forces that we’re aligned with in the fight against ISIL [the government’s preferred acronym for IS], and we take precautions to make sure that it’s not falling into the wrong hands.”

Rhodes was responding to questions about a Monday report in The Daily Beast that US humanitarian aid was flowing into IS controlled areas near Kobane by truck. That aid was mostly food and medical supplies, not the kind of lethal weapons in the new IS video.

Senior administration officials said Sunday that three American planes dropped a total of 27 bundles near Kobane and more US air drops could come as part of the joint US-Iraqi effort to aid Kurdish fighters in the Kobane area. The supplies were provided by Kurdish authorities, the official said. There have also been at least 135 air strikes against IS in the area, according to the State Department.

In the new footage, many of the weapons appear to be US made. But at least one American logistics specialist has his doubts about the authenticity of the video’s claims.

“I’ve watched the video several times..There are just a lot of odd elements. And we know from so much propaganda video from all sides that folks will put together and post just about anything to puff-up their story.”

But if the authenticity of the video is confirmed, the seizure of emergency arms dropped by the US for Kurdish forces would be a troubling development mixed with a dose of embarrassment for the US-led anti-IS coalition. After all, one of the main sticking points against arming the so-called ‘moderate rebels’ battling to unseat Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad was the idea weapons could fall into the wrong hands.

  Blackwater in Kobane

In order to get information for the air strikes and the land operations, a group of personnel from the Academy (formerly known as Blackwater) have joined to the Syrian Kurdish political group PYD’s armed wing, the YPG, which is fighting IS in Kobane, the WorldBulletin reported citing Western reporters.

Before the US occupation in Iraq, in 2003, these teams were used to get intelligence info, for preparing particularly land operations, about the circumstances in where Kobane is located now.

Blackwater, known for its inhuman killings, changed the name into Academia in 2011 during an updating process.