A new report by the Department of Defence has revealed that the United States has failed to account for $715.8 million dollars worth of weapons and equipment while in Syria.
Members of the Special Operations Joint Task Force-Operations Inherent Resolve (SOJTF-OIR), which is apart of the United States' Combined Joint Task Force in Syria, purportedly "did not maintain comprehensive lists of all equipment purchased and received". These weapons and equipment were supplied to the United States and allies during the years of 2017 and 2018. Not only were weapons and equipment not accounted for, but some of the weapons and equipment that were accounted for suffered rust due to them not being correctly stored.
The report says that this rust happened because of "SOJTF-OIR personnel did not divest or dispose of CTEF-S equipment, which led to overcrowding at the BPC Kuwait warehouse". The Department of Defence report doesn't state if the 'lost' weapons and equipment ended up in the hands of Daesh and Al-Qaeda affiliates, but according to the Military Times some of it did "battlefield losses by partner forces and as a result of Islamic State [Daesh] fighters plundering the armories of U.S.-backed groups in early 2014 as the jihadi group surged across Iraq and Syria".
The DOD recommends that the Commander of SOJTF-OIR create a new system that would accurately be able to document all equipment and weapons that are distributed to the CTEF-S. The report also says that the Commander of SOJTF-OIR should provide education towards correctly storing the equipment and weapons within warehouses. The DOD also recommends that the Commander does a physical security inspection to ensure all corrective action is being taken.
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