US-Led Coalition Downsizes Program That Spent $5Bln to Equip Anti-IS Fighters Since 2014

WASHINGTON, September 3- The United States will attempt to maintain equipment and other supplies for local fighters battling pockets of remaining fighters of the Islamic State terror group in Syria and Iraq while scaling back aid that totaled more than $5 billion since 2014, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve said in a press release on…

WASHINGTON, September 3 (Sputnik) – The United States will attempt to maintain equipment and other supplies for local fighters battling pockets of remaining fighters of the Islamic State terror group (banned in Russia) in Syria and Iraq while scaling back aid that totaled more than $5 billion since 2014, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) said in a press release on Thursday.

“The conditions-based divestments for our security partners in Iraq and Syria gives them a significant edge over ISIS [Islamic State],” CJTF-OIR Commander Pat White said in the release. “Looking ahead, our partners will prioritize sustaining the recently fielded tactical equipment and forecasting requirements for critical supplies to keep pressure on ISIS remnants.”

From 2014 to 2020, a US program spent more than $5 billion to equip local fighters, much of it on items such as uniforms, body armor, machine guns and mine-resistant armored vehicles.

Some of the largest investments involved airfield and runway renovations, modular aircraft shelters, infantry training ranges, vehicles and weapons at Iraq’s Camp Taji, recently abandoned by US forces in an exit that left more than $300,000 worth of equipment and improvements in Iraqi hands.

Trump has signaled a desire to withdraw all US forces from Iraq and Syria, but US commanders continue to recommend leaving behind a contingent of Americas for an advisory role in the battle against remaining Islamic State fighters.

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