The U.S. recently sent about 100 Toyota Hilux pickups to Syria as part of a military aid effort backed by President Trump to help Kurds in their fight against ISIS.
People’s Protection Units (YPG), which is made up mostly of Kurdish men and women, took the trucks and other military equipment to rural areas in Raqqa in northern Syria, where YPG hopes to break an ISIS stronghold, according to Turkish newspaper hurriyetdailynews.com.
The Toyota Hilux is an Asian and European variant of the Toyota Tacoma. The Hilux has proven to be a popular combat pickup in the Middle East given its reliability and parts availability. The Hilux can be spec’d with a diesel engine.
U.S. military personnel have also come to respect the truck, some even using the vehicle during combat missions, such as retired Army Special Operations veteran Jack Murphy, a Columbia graduate who now writes on military-related topics.
“As a young man in the U.S. Army the first vehicle I went looking to buy was a Toyota Hilux. Just as many soldiers are likely to buy a AR-15 rifle patterned off of the M16 or M4 that they use in the service, the Hilux is a mid-sized pickup truck that punches way above its weight class,” Murphy writes on sofrep.com. “In Afghanistan we have seen them get shot to shreds, bombed, crashed, stuck, and flooded only to keep on driving.
“I was in a Hilux rollover on the side of a mountain on the Pakistan border one night. By some miracle, none of us were hurt. The Hilux didn’t mind either, and simply continued right up the side of the mountain to the top.”