The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is using ammunition that the United States and its allies have been providing to regional security forces fighting the jihadis, according to a field dispatch by an organization that gathers and tracks private arms.
The field dispatch was put out by Conflict Armament Research (CAR), working in conjunction with Kurdish forces in northern Iraq and Syria. The report suggests that sending arms to opposition groups fighting ISIS may have the unintended consequence of arming the jihadis, the New York Times reports.
Cartridges transferred to Syria in Iraq have passed from the governments and opposition groups to ISIS, with CAR finding that ISIS ammunition comes from a startling array of different countries, including Albania and Kyrgyzstan. Cartridges from The United States outnumber those from Russia, North Korea, Iran, Iraq and Syria combined.
The report showed that ISIS ammunition was primarily of Chinese, Soviet and American origin in that order. Nearly 20 percent of the ammunition is U.S.-made. Other NATO countries accounted for 12 percent of the cartridges, with most coming from Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey.
CAR director James Bevan explained the significance of the data: “The lesson learned here is that the defense and security forces that have been supplied ammunition by external nations really don’t have the capacity to maintain custody of that ammunition.”