[Ed. – Having to pay tribute to brigands for safe passage is just one of the hazards of deploying “fighters” and weapons into a hot war with no intention of actually, you know, “fighting.” Emphasis added.]
A Syrian rebel commander who recently completed a U.S. training program has told the Pentagon that he surrendered six coalition-provided trucks and ammunition to militants from the al-Qaida affiliate in Syria, known as the al-Nusra Front.
U.S. Central Command says roughly 25 percent of the equipment assigned to that unit was apparently turned over earlier this week in exchange for safe passage within the region.
After earlier denying reports that some fighters had handed over gear, the Pentagon acknowledged Friday that it had received notification from the New Syrian Forces (NSF) unit. …
Earlier this week, the al-Nusra Front tweeted an image of a coalition-issued rifle and claimed that the newest NSF members had handed over all their weapons upon re-entering Syria last week.
At the time, the Pentagon said the image was an old picture repurposed from the Facebook page of a previously deployed NSF fighter from a different training class.
But Friday, Ryder said, “in light of this new information, we wanted to ensure the public was informed as quickly as possible about the facts as we know them at this time.”