Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Pentagon: US has concerns over Syrian Kurds expanding non-Kurdish territory in Syria

US Defense Department's Cmdr. Elissa Smith who oversees the Syria file, responded my questions re latest airdrop of ammunition in northern Syria.

Smith stated: "This airdrop supported Arab groups. We share the concern of our Turkish partners over the sensitivity of expanding Kurdish control into traditionally non-Kurdish areas in Syria."

I never heard Pentagon or any US officials expressing "concerns" regarding Syrian Kurds' expanding in non-Kurdish areas in Syria. With this statement, seems like US supports Turkey's "red line" which is for PYD or YPG not to cross over Jarablus and expand to west to link Afrin canton with Kobani.

Smith also stated clearly that the Syrian Kurds did not receive the latest ammunition airdrop occurred over the weekend in the same exclusive statement: "We've said that we support counter-ISIL forces. Counter-ISIL ground forces include Syrian Arabs, Kurds, Turkoman and other groups native to the region. The particular recipients of this ammunition were Syrian Arab groups."

During Tuesday's press briefing at the State Department, spokesperson Mark Toner did not want to comment explicitly whether Syrian Kurds also received part of ammunition drop.

Smith concluded in her 3 paragraph statement with this: "This successful airdrop provided ammunition to Syrian groups whose leaders were appropriately vetted by the United States and have been fighting to remove ISIL from northern Syria. The airdrop includes small arms ammunition. Due to operational security we will not have any further details about the groups that received these supplies, their location, or the type of equipment in the airdrop."

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