“Moderate” militants trained by the US military have handed over their weapons to terrorists upon entry into Syria.
Militants with Division 30, who had just graduated from a US-led military training program in Turkey, surrendered to the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria, The Telegraph reported on Monday, quoting a number of sources.
The militants are said to have given up all their guns and equipment immediately after entry into Syria.
"A strong slap for America... the new group from Division 30 that entered yesterday hands over all of its weapons to Jabhat al-Nusra after being granted safe passage,” read a statement on Twitter by a man calling himself Abu Fahd al-Tunisi, a member of Nusra."They handed over a very large amount of ammunition and medium weaponry and a number of pick-ups."
The division’s commander, Anas Ibrahim Obaid, explained to the terrorists that he had tricked the US military to get guns, according to Abu Khattab al-Maqdisi, another Nusra member.
"He promised to issue a statement... repudiating Division 30, the coalition, and those who trained him," he tweeted. "And he also gave a large amount of weapons to Jabhat al-Nusra."
The division entered Syria with “12 four-wheel vehicles equipped with machine guns and ammunition” a day earlier, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The entry of the 70 men was also confirmed by the US Central Command after they graduated from the Pentagon’s “train and equip” program.
Last month, Nusra militants attacked the division’s headquarters killing five, wounding 18, and kidnapping some others.