Are Kurdish fighters friends or foe? Yes! We support the YPG’s battles against ISIS. No! We reject their claims for independence from Turkey. Unless we get really pissed off at Turkey. Anyway, Uncle Sam is currently arming the Kurds on the DL. But, as Mr. Carp might say, we “never feed them a lot. Never more than a spot! Or something may happen. You never know what.” As airforcetimes.com reports. . .
The equipment provided to YPG is minimal and doled out on an as-needed basis, according to officials at the Pentagon. The weapons include machine guns, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and some light armored vehicles. The list lacks the sophisticated weapons technology that other allies in the fight against ISIS have. One example would be the weapons Iraqi forces employed in their drive to liberate Mosul.
As a result, the Kurdish fighters have been innovative in their drive to field and develop weapon systems to bridge capability gaps.
One such invention is the homemade Zagros sniper rifle. The rifle provides stand-off distance for Kurdish fighters and is capable of puncturing light armored vehicles like the suicide bombs driven by ISIS fighters or breaking through concrete walls to take out concealed ISIS fighters.
More specifically . . .
Kurdish militants salvage parts from a 12.7 mm DsHK Russian heavy machine gun and use the trigger from an RPG launcher, according to Neçirvan Zirek, the nom de guerre of an international YPG volunteer who served as a sniper with the U.S.-backed fighters.
“The barrel, bolt and receiver are milled down for weight loss and fashioned with some metal to something that resembles a bolt action rifle,” Zirek told Military Times. “The bolt is modified to operate in the same fashion as a regular bolt rifle.”
Because powerful magnification optics for the rifle are hard to come by, the Kurdish militants use whatever they can find, usually Chinese scopes or pilfered optics on the battlefield, he added.
Speaking of equipment “pilfered” on the battlefield, ISIS. Taliban. Just sayin’ . . .