3499034 How American made weapons ended up in ISIS

UNDISCLOSED LOCATION, SYRIA (June 2, 2017) — U.S. Marines fire an M777-A2 Howitzer in Syria, June 2, 2017. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Matthew Callahan)

By Matt Saintsing

Weapons given to Syrian rebels from the United States were intended to be used against President Bashar Assad’s forces, but according to a report released Thursday, ended up in the hands of the Islamic State.

Released by Conflict Armament Research, the 200-page report investigated how 40,000 weapons retrieved from ISIS fighters on the battlefield fell into their clutches. Spanning over the past three years, the report finds weapons were originally supplied from the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Libya.

“Evidence collected by [Conflict Armament Research] indicates that the United States has repeatedly diverted EU-manufactured weapons and ammunition to opposition forces in the Syrian conflict,” the report reads.

“[ISIS] forces rapidly gained custody of significant quantities
 of this materiel.”

President Obama had provided material support to several Syrian opposition groups through a clandestine CIA program that President Trump ended earlier this year.

However, in May, the Trump administration approved a plan to equip the Syrian Democratic Forces, made up of Kurds and Arabs, to fight ISIS in Syria.

43 percent of the weapons the recovered in Syria were from China, while 27 percent were Russian-made.

Of the weapons recovered in both Iraq and Syria, half were Chinese or Russian.

“Supplies of materiel into the Syrian conflict from foreign parties — notably the United States and Saudi Arabia — have indirectly allowed [ISIS] to obtain substantial quantities of anti-armour ammunition,” the report says.

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