Feb. 24 – The US Department of Defence Office of Inspector General recently published a report on accountability of the equipment designated for the Syrian opposition in the framework of the Counter-Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Train and Equip Fund (CTEF) in 2017 and 2018.
The Department of Defence actively collaborated with some approved Vetted Syrian Opposition forces and with the Iraqi Security Forces in order to promote the stability of the region, and against this backdrop asked for a $930 million fund from the Congress, of which $715.8 million were requested for weapons, ammunition, vehicles and equipment.
The report clearly states that the joint task force personnel did not account for this equipment, maintaining lists of all the equipment purchased, received and stored.
Without a proper inventory, and with weapons stored outside in metal shipping containers, exposed to harsh environmental elements, they currently don’t know what is actually stored in the BPC Kuwait warehouse.
The Inspector General recommended to develop a central repository system for all documentation because a new $173.2 million budget for weapons, ammunition, vehicles, and equipment has been requested and there is a concrete risk of unnecessary spending (ordering equipment that the joint task force already has in stock) and further overcrowding of the BPC Kuwait warehouse, resulting in equipment being stored outside once again.
Without complete accountability, the US Army does not know what has been distributed to Syrian rebel forces and where are the pieces of equipment distributed in the last two years. The report doesn’t say where the missing weapons may have ended up, but for sure the Syrian battlefield is awash with American-manufactured weaponry.