Interesting Images Of C-17s Loading Materiel At Kobani Landing Zone During U.S. Withdrawal From Syria Released

A Tunner 60K Aircraft Cargo Loader loads ammunition onto a C-17 at Kobani Landing Zone (KLZ), Syria, Oct. 21, 2019. U.S. forces are executing a deliberate, phased, and orderly withdrawal from northern Syria. KLZ remains open to facilitate the additional movement of troops and equipment outside of Syria. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Hammock)

“Kobani Landing Zone remains open to facilitate the additional movement of troops and equipment outside of Syria.”

The U.S. Department of Defense has just released some interesting shots showing a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III airlifter loading materiel at Kobani Landing Zone, about 20 miles south of the city of Kobani, Syria.

The C-17A, belonging to the 437th Airlift Wing, at Charleston Air Force Base, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, serial number 09-9212, was tasked with the evacuation of U.S. vehicles, ammo and materiel on Oct. 21, 2019, as part of the withdrawal of U.S. from northern Syria.

Late on Oct. 6, 2019, a statement issued by White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham following a call between President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to which Turkey would soon start moving forward with “its long-planned operation into Northern Syria […] and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial “Caliphate,” would no longer be in the immediate area.”

A Kalmar RT240 Rough Terrain Container Handler moves a storage container to be filled with equipment at Kobani Landing Zone (KLZ), Syria, Oct. 21, 2019. U.S. forces are executing a deliberate, phased, and orderly withdrawal from northern Syria. KLZ remains open to facilitate the additional movement of troops and equipment outside of Syria. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Hammock)

The Kobani Landing Zone is in the same area as the Lafarge Cement Factory, that was the headquarters of the anti-Daesh coalition in Syria. The US base was evacuated beginning on Oct. 15, when the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had left and set fire to their facilities and equipment. Two U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, carried out an air strike on the base to destroy an ammunition cache that had remained there and prevent it from being seized by Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army, or TFSA, that along with the Turkish forces were moving south.

A Tunner 60K Aircraft Cargo Loader loads ammunition onto a C-17 at Kobani Landing Zone (KLZ), Syria, Oct. 21, 2019. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Hammock)

Based on the photographs, on Oct. 21, additional ammunitions (coming from some other coalition base in the area) were still in Syria. These were loaded onto the C-17 to be evacuated by air.

A Tunner 60K Aircraft Cargo Loader loads ammunition onto a C-17 at Kobani Landing Zone (KLZ), Syria, Oct. 21, 2019. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Hammock)

KLZ is one of the semi-prepared dirt runways the U.S. has used in Syria beginning in early 2016 during the American-led intervention in the Syrian Civil War. C-17s routinely train in the U.S. to operate from dirt runways: Delamar Dry Lake Bed, on the NTTR (Nevada Test and Training Range), along with Keno airfield, is often used to practice landings on improvised or semi-prepared strips in the US.

 

A forklift loads equipment onto a C-17 at Kobani Landing Zone (KLZ), Syria, Oct. 21, 2019. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Hammock)



About David Cenciotti 3872 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.