US commanders planning the withdrawal of troops from Syria are recommending Kurdish militants battling Islamic State be allowed to keep US-supplied weapons, four officials said.
Three of the officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the recommendation was part of discussions on a draft plan. It is unclear what the Pentagon will recommend to the White House.
Discussions are still at an early stage inside the Pentagon and no decision has yet been made, the officials said. The plan will be presented to the White House with US President Donald Trump making the final decision.
The Pentagon said it would be “inappropriate” and premature to comment on what will happen with the weapons.
“Planning is ongoing, and focused on executing a deliberate and controlled withdrawal of forces while taking all measures possible to ensure our troops’ safety,” said Commander Sean Robertson, a Pentagon spokesman.
The Pentagon keeps records of the weapons it supplied to the YPG and their chain of custody. But, the US officials said, it would be nearly impossible to find them all.
“How are we going to get them back and who is going to take them back?” one of the officials asked.
Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton is visiting Turkey and Israel next week for talks on Syria.