The Pentagon on Tuesday changed its tune on allocating money under its 2019 fiscal year budget for a border force consisted of PKK-affiliated groups, saying it would be spent on securing the border between Jordan and Lebanon instead of the Iraq-Syria border.
Pentagon spokesman Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition would establish a security on the Iraq-Syria border, including spending $250 million to train and equip the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), predominantly led by PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) as a border protection force. But Rankine-Galloway later changed his statement.
"In the second paragraph of my note below, my response was written in such a way that inadvertently implied that $250 million was being requested for U.S.-supported partners in Syria," he told AA.
"In fact, the $250 million is requested to provide border security support to the governments of Jordan and Lebanon, not for partner forces in Syria."
The U.S. government unveiled Monday that the Pentagon's 2019 budget will include $300 million for the train-and-equip program for the SDF and $250 million for building a "border security force" in Syria. The money allocated for the SDF's training is part of the spending on border security requirement for anti-Daesh missions.