WASHINGTON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - The head of U.S. forces fighting Islamic State said on Wednesday that weapons seized by the group when they captured the Syrian city of Palmyra posed a danger to U.S.-led coalition in the region, but he said that threat could be managed.
Army Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend told a Pentagon video briefing that the weapons seized by Islamic State when it captured Palmyra recently included armored vehicles and air defense equipment.
“I‘m not really exactly sure ... what they’ve seized there. We believe it includes some armored vehicles and various guns and other heavy weapons, possibly some air defense equipment,” Townsend said. “Basically anything they seized poses a threat to the coalition but we can manage those threats and we will.”
He indicated U.S. forces would strike the weapons as the opportunity presented itself. He also said fighting between Russian-backed Syrian government forces and Syrian rebels in Aleppo was unlikely to significantly affect the U.S.-backed effort to take the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa, Syria.
Reporting by Phil Stewart; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Eric Walsh