On December 1, the Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu revealed the location of 13 ammo depots in the provinces of al-Hasakah, Raqqa and Aleppo where the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are storing the weapons and ammunition received from the US-led coalition.
The 13 large ammo depots of the SDF are located in Afrin, Ain al-Arab, Sirrin, Harab Isk, Chalabiya, Tal Abyad, Soluk, Dirbasiya, Gibse, Tal Baidar, Zone 47, al-Hul and Maliqiyya, according to the report.
Syrian pro-government sources confirmed the information provided by the Turkish meida. According to them, Maliqiyya and Tal Baidar are the biggest ammo depots of the SDF.
The Anadolu agency also revealed that the SDF is mainly receiving weapons and ammunition form the US-led coalition through the Semalka border crossing on the Syrian-Iraqi border. The Iraqi side of Semalka is currently under the control of Kurdish Peshmerga forces. However, the Iraqi federal government is planning to take over the border crossing soon, which will make the situation more complicated for the SDF.
According to the Anadolu map, the SDF is also locally manufacturing mortars in many workshops, which are mainly located in the city of Afrin in the northern Aleppo countryside.
Syrian and Turkish sources believe that the SDF is storing the weapons for a future battle against the Turkish Army or the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), as most of these weapons were not used against ISIS.
As a part of the US efforts to reassure Turkey’s fears regarding the armament of the SDF, the US Department of Defense (DOD) said that it had shared lists of major military equipment provided to the SDF (like heavy machine guns and Humvees) with Turkey, according to a report of the US-based Monitor on November 28.
The report also said that the US DOD is working to ensure the safe return of the heavy weapons provided to the SDF and stressed that it is planning to take back the “large vehicles and heavy or crew-served weapons” from the SDF once ISIS is defeated.
Many Syrian and Turkish experts doubted that the US will be able to take back the weapons provided to the SDF. The US had previously failed to return weapons that it supplied to different groups in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.