CENTCOM: Airdrop Armed Arab Rebels, Not Kurds

US Central Command is refuting reports that the airdrop of more than 50 tons of ammunition intended for a newly vetted Syrian Arab coalition ended up arming Kurdish rebels in the area. US C-17s, escorted by US fighters, on Oct. 11, airdropped 100 bundles of small-arm ammunition to a group of about 5,000 moderate Arab Syrian rebels. The airdrop included machine gun ammunition, hand grenades, and rocket-propelled grenade rounds. On Wednesday, Turkish officials complained to the US that the airdrop could end up in the hands of Kurdish rebels, who in turn could use it against Turkey, according to The Associated Press. US Central Command spokesman Air Force Col. Patrick Ryder told reporters on Oct. 16 the US is confident all of the ammunition ended up with the intended Syrian Arab Coalition fighters. He said the US could not rule out that some of the ammunition in the future could end up changing hands, but the airdrop was successful in giving the intended, vetted groups supplies.