The U.S. military said Friday that contrary to its earlier denial, a U.S.-allied Syrian rebel commander had, in fact, surrendered trucks and ammunition to an intermediary linked to the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria.
A statement from the U.S. Central Command said it had been notified a commander of a New Syrian Forces element operating in Syria had surrendered six pick-up trucks and a portion of the unit’s ammunition to a suspected Al Nusra Front intermediary on Sep. 21-22, purportedly in exchange for safe passage in the operating area.
That would amount to roughly 25 percent of the equipment assigned to that unit.
On Wednesday, the Defense Department had denied reports such a surrender had occurred, saying they were based on false reports.
The report underscores persistent problems with the U.S.-led coalition's effort to train and equip Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State.
The Associated Press contributed to this report