A 200-vehicle U.S. convoy believed to possibly be delivering new weapons to the PKK-affiliated People’s Protection Units (YPG) was observed Monday night while it was passing by northeastern Syria’s Qamishli. The convoy was seen from Turkey’s border town of Nusaybin and was laden with armored vehicles, heavy equipment and oil tankers bound for inland Syria. A suspected terrorist captured in Turkey said during a confession last week that U.S. soldiers provided heavy weapons training to terrorists in YPG camps.
The suspect, identified as H.M., said in testimony that he was taken to another camp after his training in the first camp, noting: “During my time in the YPG, weapons, bombs, rockets, ammunition, food and clothing needs have been delivered with vehicles.”
“American soldiers gave us about 15 days of training on Kalashnikovs, machine guns and rocket launchers. American soldiers were distributing Kalashnikovs by hand to those who completed their training,” he said.
Relations between the U.S. and the PKK’s Syrian affiliates have long been a concern for Turkey as the terrorist group’s presence on the Turkish border poses grave security threats to 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 (ATGM) and shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles (MANPADS).
The delivery of arms and equipment to the YPG, which is still poisoning 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, threatening the stability of northern Syrian areas that were liberated from Daesh during Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch. There are also other serious possible threats to Turkey, including the possibility of the transfer of these U.S.-made weapons to southeast Turkey through the border controlled by the YPG to be used against the Turkish army by PKK terrorists. In recent years, U.S.-made rockets, anti-aircraft weapons, heavy machine guns and M-16 rifles have been seized, particularly on Kato Mountain located in Turkey’s border province of Hakkari, during anti-terror operations against PKK terrorists.