C-17s Airdrop Ammunition To Syrian Fighters

Air Force C-17s on Oct. 11 airdropped more than 50 tons of ammunition to a newly vetted group of moderate Syrian rebels, the first step in the US’s changing approach to training and equipping fighters. Army Col. Steve Warren, spokesman for the US-led Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, said the airdrop included 100 bundles of ammunition, including machine gun ammunition, mortars, hand grenades, and rocket-propelled grenade rounds. The equipment was dropped to a group of about 5,000 moderate Syrian rebels that has been vetted and approved by the coalition, Warren said. The US has shifted its approach to vetting and training Syrian rebel groups, and now is selecting leaders to train and vet instead of every individual fighter as a way to speed up the process. The new group has been engaging ISIS fighters near their stronghold of Raqqa. “We are supporting moderate Syrian opposition who are fighting ISIL,” Warren said, clarifying that the group is not located near any possible Russian forces. “It’s difficult to put a restriction on a bullet. We have supplied this ammunition and this equipment to forces that we are satisfied are focusing on ISIL.”