Friday, September 1, 2017

Syrian rebel defector says his US-trained unit sold arms to ISIS

US-trained unit sold arms to ISIS
Not only were the US-backed ‘moderate’ militants in southern Syria never meant to fight ISIS, but their commanders actually traded US-made weapons and ammunition to terrorists, a rebel defector claimed in an interview with Rossiya-24.


Asaad As-Salem says he defected from the US-backed Maghawir al-Thawra group stationed at the At-Tanf base in southern Syria, and surrendered to Syrian government forces. Along with a number of other militants and their families, they escaped At-Tanf and currently reside in a refugee camp near Damascus.

The former militant told Rossiya-24 correspondent Eugeniy Poddubny that he served as a chief security officer at the base, and that he and his men joined the US-backed rebel group to fight Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists.

Their US and Norwegian instructors, stationed at the base, taught the militants to fire US-made weapons, trained mortar squads and conducted courses on accident-free driving on the battlefield.

The reality, however, differed from the proclaimed goal of fighting terrorists, as the unit has never seen action against IS and its commander actually traded the US-supplied weapons with the terrorists – all while the American instructors, deployed at the base, turned a blind eye, the former militant claimed.

“When we learned that our unit’s leader was selling weapons to ISIS terrorists, we reported that to American base command, but following our report no action has been taken, the Americans only ramped up the support to the man who was appointed our commander and who was dealing with ISIS,” As-Salem said.

“And he was selling all sorts of weapons our unit possessed, US-made small arms, M-16 and M-4 rifles, recoilless rifles, various machine guns and ammunition for them.”

The areas controlled by the US-backed militants along the Syrian-Jordanian border were cut off from IS-held regions by Syrian government forces and its allies in June, rendering their declared goal of “fighting terrorism” entirely obsolete.
 [rt.com]
 1/9/17
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Al-Tanf

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