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Turkey to train and equip Syrian opposition

October 11, 2014 at 1:21 pm

US Department of State said on Friday that Ankara has agreed to support training and to equip the moderate Syrian opposition, Reuters reported.

“Turkey has agreed to support train-and-equip efforts for the moderate Syrian opposition,” Spokeswoman of the US Department of State Marie Harf said.

Harf also said that Saudi Arabia previously announced it is ready to train moderate Syrian opposition in the Kingdom.

Retired US General John Allen and deputy envoy Brett McGurk, who are responsible for building a coalition to fight Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, travelled to Turkey to press officials to play a bigger role in the fight. Allen said that the training would take years.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Prime Minister Ahmet Davodoglu condemned on Friday Syrian attacks on the Syrian-Kurdish city of Koubani on the Turkish border.

Both Turkish leaders likened Assad’s army with ISIS, which is encircling Koubani.

In front of thousands of his supporters, Erdogan said: “We cannot leave the fate of Syrian refugees in the hands of the criminal Assad, who is practicing state terrorism.”