U.S. forces lost track of massive amounts of weapons behind in Syria, says Pentagon
Weapons were damaged, and maybe stolen or lost, due to bad accounting.
By Christinia Bemis | Feb 20, 2020 | Print-friendly

Hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of U.S. weaponry may have been lost or stolen in war zones in Syria, warns a new Pentagon report. The report, released Tuesday by the Defense Department Inspector General, finds that U.S. forces failed to keep track of around $715 million of weapons that they had sent to U.S. allies during the fight against Islamic State militants.

Officials with Special Operations Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (SOJTF-OIR) and the 1st Theater Sustainment Command (TSC) were responsible for accounting for the weapons and failed to do so, according to the report. The Military Times, a defense news publication, explained that SOJTF-OIR oversees a fund to train and equip Syrian forces to combat the Islamic State and decides which weapons and equipment these forces require. It said that the 1st TSC oversaw storage of the arms at a warehouse in Kuwait and their transfers to other warehouses near the Syrian border.

The inspector general's report found that thousands of weapons were "vulnerable to loss or theft." Officials could not say for certain if any hardware had been lost or stolen, however, due to improper accounting.

Accounting errors also caused cost duplicate orders, resulting in cost overruns and overflow of equipment into the warehouses, the report also said. It also stated that many weapons suffered damage due to improper storage in outside shipping containers as storage space ran low.

The report said that SOJTF-OIR and the 1st TSC will organize a new shared drive to establish a centralized inventory of all the equipment. All unserviceable gear and weapons will be disposed of to free up more warehouse space, it said.