Half a dozen long convoys of trucks carrying US arms, hurriedly put together by US military headquarters in Baghdad, have crossed the border in the last three days on their way to the Syrian Kurdish PYD-YPG militia, DEBKAfile military and intelligence sources report exclusively Monday, Nov. 14. The deliveries were expressly ordered by President Barack Obama in a radical turnaround from his five-year refusal to supply Kurdish fighters with American weaponry, least of all anti-air and anti-tank missiles.
More arms convoys are being organized for the same destination.
What caused President Obama’s sudden and belated change of heart about arming the Syrian Kurdish fighters? Our sources report six motives:
1. To get in the way of the deal for Syria that president elect Donald Trump is developing with Presidents Vladimir Putin and Tayyip Erdogan. Obama has chosen Syria as the first arena to disrupt the incoming president’s foreign and security policies.
2. DEBKAfile’s Moscow and Ankara sources report that the accord taking shape between Trump and the Russian and Turkish leaders would have the Turkish army, with Russian air support, mount an offensive to retake Raqqa from ISIS. The Russians and Iranians would meanwhile wind up the battle to defeat the Syrian rebels still holding out in eastern Aleppo.
3. The timeline they have sketched for the conquest of Raqqa is mid-January 2017 in time for Donald Trump’s inauguration as president and well ahead of the defeat of ISIS in Mosul, Iraq. The Trump’s strategic team reckons that the Obama plan to retake Mosul is heading for fiasco, because the Iraqi army after four weeks of fighting is still held back by ISIS resistance from breaking through into the city.
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