On November 1, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) uncovered a large ammunition depot containing 450,000 bullets during a search operation around the city of al-Mayadin in the southern Deir Ezzor countryside, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).
The SANA’s reporter in Deir Ezzor said that the bullets, which had been left behind by ISIS fighters, were all supplied by the US. Experts confirmed that the bullets are from the 7.62×51mm NATO caliber. The US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) had used several rifles that are chambered in this caliber, such as the German Heckler & Koch G3 and the Belgian FN FAL.
ISIS likely bought these US-supplied bullets directly from the FSA. Earlier this year, a detailed report by the Conflict Armament Research (CAR) revealed how ISIS fighters in Iraq were able to obtain anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) only few weeks after the US had supplied them to the FSA in Syria.
Syrian pro-government activists believe that loads of weapons and ammunition, which were supplied to the FSA under the Obama-era armament program, have ended up in the hands of ISIS. The program was reportedly ended by U.S. President Donald Trump in late 2017.