The Donald Trump administration is seeking to more than double the number of assault rifles it provides to Syrian Kurds and other US-backed fighters despite rising anger from NATO ally Turkey.
Budget figures released Feb. 15 reveal that the Pentagon plans to give its Syrian partners — including the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) — more than 25,000 AK-47s, the gas-powered Soviet-era gun that has become a fixture in Syria’s seven-year civil war. The low cost and accessibility of the Kalashnikovs make them easy for US-backed troops to sustain as the Pentagon looks to hold territory won back from the Islamic State (IS) in the Euphrates River Valley.
The request more than doubles the 12,000 assault rifles the Department of Defense requested for Syrian forces in the current fiscal year, even as the US plans to dole out fewer machine guns, mortars and sniper rifles. Many of the US-supplied weapons used in Syria, including AK-47s, are sourced from Eastern European countries such as Bulgaria, Bosnia and the Czech Republic.
Read the full article in the Al-Monitor.