New Video Shows Al-Qaeda Using Weapons U.S. Gave to 'Vetted Moderates'
A new video released by al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra shows fighters from the terror group using the very weapons which were supplied by the U.S. to "vetted moderate" rebel groups as part of a disastrously failed plan to combat ISIS.
The video shows urban warfare training near Aleppo. Observers on Twitter have noted the weapons appear to be M240L machine guns. These weapons had been provided to the small group of fighters trained under the Department of Defense's $500 million "train and equip" program that was shut down earlier this month.
Here are screenshots of the U.S. weapons in use:
The U.S.-supplied weapons first appear at about the 3:30 mark in the following video:
The loss of U.S. weapons by so-called "vetted moderate" groups -- and their use by various designated terrorist groups, including al-Nusra and ISIS, during the Syrian conflict -- has been frequently covered here at PJ Media. A month ago, I reported about the defection of a U.S.-trained "rebel" commander who surrendered his weapons to al-Nusra almost immediately after entering the country. In March, I reported that Jabhat al-Nusra was using U.S.-provided TOW anti-tank missiles in the capture of the strategic city of Idlib. Recently released videos from al-Nusra have shown even more use of U.S.-supplied weapons by the al-Qaeda affiliate in that battle:
As I've noted previously, at this point it is difficult to identify terror groups operating in Syria that have not gotten hold of the U.S.-provided weapons that had been delivered to the "vetted moderate" rebel groups:
Dec 2: U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebels Ally with Al-Qaeda in South, Surrender CIA-Supplied Weapons in the North
This list does not include the $1 billion worth of Humvees -- 2,300 vehicles -- captured by ISIS from the retreating Iraqi Army last year during their push into northern Iraq.
They additionally captured 40 M1A1 battle tanks, 52 M198 howitzers, and 74,000 machine guns. ISIS in Syria has been seen using these weapons.