The U.S. Bought Weapons for Syrian Rebels — and some Wound up in the Hands of ISIS Terrorists
SOURCE: USA TODAY
BY: JIM MICHAELS
WASHINGTON — Sophisticated weapons the U.S. military secretly provided to Syrian rebels quickly fell into the hands of the Islamic State, a study released Thursday disclosed.
The report said the Islamic State’s possession of these weapons remains a threat to the U.S.-led coalition still operating against the terror group in Iraq and Syria.
The arms included anti-tank weapons purchased by the United States that ended up in possession of the Islamic State within two months of leaving the factory, according to the study by Conflict Armament Research, an organization that tracks arms shipments. The study was funded by the European Union and German government.
Efforts by the United States and other countries to supply weapons to rebel groups “have significantly augmented the quantity and quality of weapons available to (Islamic State) forces,” the report concluded.
The study examined 40,000 weapons and other items recovered from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, during the past three years. The militants have been retreating across Iraq and Syria as U.S.-backed forces have routed them from their strongholds.