The U.S. military has failed to account for $715 million's worth of weapons and equipment allocated to the YPG/PKK, having risked Turkey's national security by letting the whereabouts of this ammunition fall into the hands of the terrorist group.
A Pentagon inspector general report released Tuesday said Special Operations Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (SOJTF-OIR) personnel "did not maintain a comprehensive list of all equipment purchased and received" to back its partners in the fight against Daesh in fiscal years 2017 and 2018.
"This occurred because SOJTF-OIR personnel allowed multiple entities ... to store records in numerous locations instead of designating a central repository for all supporting accountability documentation," said the report.
In addition, First Theater Sustainment Command (TSC) personnel did not properly store or secure the equipment designated for Syria at the Building Partners Capacity (BPC) Kuwait warehouse in accordance with Pentagon guidance and army regulations.
"For example, 1st TSC personnel stored weapons outside in metal shipping containers, exposing the equipment to harsh environmental elements, such as heat and humidity," it added.
The $715 million for weapons and equipment for vetted Syrian partners was part of a $930 million request by the Defense Department.
The Pentagon repeatedly pledged to account for every U.S. weapon sent to its Syrian partners, including the YPG/PKK, but did not offer any plan to ensure it would not fall into the wrong hands. Instead, as a response to Turkey's criticisms, the U.S. insisted that there is no way of the weapons entering Turkey and being used against Turkish security forces as the whereabouts of all the ammunition are under their control.
Congress signed off last year on $200 million to fund partner forces in Syria, which is in line with the Pentagon's current request.
The weapons, which were given to the terrorists by the U.S., have been a cause of great concern for Turkey.
Relations between the U.S. and the PKK's Syrian affiliates have long been a worry for Turkey as the terrorist group's presence on the Turkish border has long been threatening and disrupting the country's national security.
During the fight against Daesh, the U.S. opted to partner with the YPG, despite its NATO ally's security concerns and provided truckloads of weapons to the terrorist group. Some 22,000 truckloads of arms and ammunition have been given to the YPG so far. Some of the arms include cruise missiles, anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) and shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles (MANPADS).
The delivery of arms and equipment to the YPG, a matter that is still tainting bilateral relations between the two NATO allies, began in 2014 and intensified in subsequent years.
The presence of these weapons has caused concern in Ankara, with Turkish officials pointing out that it is actively threatening the fragile stability and peace in north Syrian areas ensured after being liberated from Daesh during Operation Euphrates Shield, Operation Olive Branch and Operation Peace Spring.
There are also other serious possible threats, including the possibility of the transfer of these U.S.-made weapons to PKK terrorists in southeastern Turkey through the border controlled by the YPG.
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