Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Middle East | Syria | syria | alliance | ill-equipped | unprepared

US-Backed Syria Alliance Is Ill-Equipped, Unprepared

Image: US-Backed Syria Alliance Is Ill-Equipped, Unprepared
Iraqi Kurdish fighters stand next to their vehicle as they guard a position at the frontline of fighting against ISIS group's militants near the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, west of the city of Mosul on August 17, 2015. (Photo credit Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 03 Nov 2015 09:42 AM

After the Obama administration abandoned its $500 million campaign to train thousands of fighters in Syria, The New York Times reports that American officials announced a new effort to equip newly named ground forces to combat the Islamic State.

However, not only are they ill-equipped to fight the jihadists, they are unprepared.

Pointing to a fighter with broken boots and a dirty sweatshirt, one Arab commander said, "This is the state of our fighters: trying to fight ISIS with simple means."

He added that in order to reclaim mostly Arab areas back from ISIS, his forces are in desperate need of ammunition, radios, heavy weapons, and more American airstrikes.

With President Barack Obama's plan to support the new alliance, the New York Times notes that the plan has already gone awry when U.S. officials dropped 50 tons of ammunition, but the group was ill-equipped to move it and the Kurds were called to help.

"The backbone of these forces are the Kurdish groups because of their experience fighting ISIS and their numbers," said Redur Xelil, a spokesman for Syria's dominant Kurdish force, the Y.P.G.

However, Xelil added that Kurdish forces have little reason to reclaim Arab communities and also pose a security threat to places like Turkey.

Talal Sillu, a spokesman for the alliance and the only person who has been given a military position so far, briefed reporters in a Kurdish militia facility that the force is expected to be commanded by a six-person military council.

He added that the alliance has yet to have its own military bases or flags to put on its cars or military structures.

"The Y.P.G. is a very effective fighting force, and it can do a lot," said Barak Barfi, a research fellow at the New America Foundation, a policy group in Washington, who recently spent time with Kurdish units in Syria, the New York Times reports.

"But these Arab groups are weak and just a fig leaf for the Y.P.G."

"What is important for us is to protect our area, and the security of our children, our homes and our women," said Sheikh Hmeidi Daham al-Jarba, whose Arab tribal militia, the Sanadeed Forces, has joined the alliance, according to the New York Times. "We have the Kurds on one side and ISIS on the other, so who should we choose?"

And, Abu Hamza of the Raqqa Revolutionaries Brigade who is hoping their alliance with the Kurds will not only provide support, but also help retaliate against the Jihadists added, "We need uniforms, we need ammunition, we need everything.."

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After the Obama administration abandoned its $500 million campaign to train thousands of fighters in Syria, The New York Times reports that American officials announced a new effort to equip newly named ground forces to combat the Islamic State.
syria, alliance, ill-equipped, unprepared, kurds, isis
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2015-42-03
Tuesday, 03 Nov 2015 09:42 AM
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