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Report: ‘sensitive weapons’ including missiles, drones stolen from US bases in Iraq, Syria

November 26, 2023 at 12:20 pm

A military convoy of US forces along the border of Syria on 21 October 2019 [Yunus Keleş/Anadolu Agency]

Military investigations launched earlier this year have revealed that US bases in Iraq and Syria have been the target of theft with “multiple sensitive weapons and equipment” having gone missing.

A report by The Intercept yesterday, citing exclusive documents note that the US military presence in both countries have been unable to secure equipment, let alone personnel. This comes amid an uptick in missile and drone attacks against US bases in Iraq and Syria from Iranian-backed Iraqi resistance factions, in solidarity with Israel’s US-supported genocidal war against Gaza launched last month.

The US has since stepped up its own attacks in response, including “precision strikes” against a “training facility and safe house” in Syria, allegedly used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

The report notes that although the bases in Iraq and Syria operate to conduct “counter-ISIS mission,” they also serve “primarily as a check against Iran.” Earlier this year, the outlet revealed that hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of US artillery equipment, unspecified “weapons systems,” and specialized ammunition had been stolen, with some of these ending up in the hands of terrorist organisations, including Daesh.

READ: Militants target US base in Iraq

The latest documents about the thefts in Iraq, were never made public by the military and were found in criminal investigations files obtained via the Freedom of Information Act. The discovery is also the latest evidence that US military outposts in the region and in other parts of the world “provide tempting targets for criminals.”

“We don’t tend to think nearly critically enough about the ripple effects of such an expansive U.S. military footprint,” Stephanie Savell, co-director of Brown University’s Costs of War Project, was quoted by The Intercept as saying.

“The so-called war on terror isn’t over — it’s just morphed. And we can understand these weapons thefts as just one of the many political costs of that ongoing campaign.”

Earlier this week, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary, Sabrina Singh said that US forces in Iraq and Syria have been attacked 66 times since 17 October, with US personnel sustaining approximately 62 injuries. Of the total attacks, 34 were in Syria and 32 in Iraq, she said.

READ: Iraq condemns US strikes that killed Iran-aligned fighters