Syria: Ankara and Washington agree to train rebels in Turkey

US military officials to provide weapons for Syrian opposition

17 November, 18:20

    A Free Syrian Army fighter (FSA) (Archive material) A Free Syrian Army fighter (FSA) (Archive material)

    (ANSAmed) - ISTANBUL- The US and Turkey agreed on plans to train 2,000 members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) on Turkish territory, as Turkish media reported adding that the sides failed to agree on the question of training Kurdish groups, which Ankara has labeled members of a terrorist organization. Following a series of meetings between US European Command (EUCOM) and the US Central Command (CENTCOM) and high-ranking Turkish military officials at the Turkish General Staff's headquarters, the sides agreed on equipping and training Syrian anti-government rebels at Turkey's Hirfanli training center in Kirsehir province, as Hurriyet online reported.

    American military officials, who will also participate in the training, will provide weapons and ammunition for the Syrian opposition. Washington is also expected to pick up the bill for the training, which is scheduled to begin at the end of December, the Turkish newspaper said. However, the two sides failed to agree on the question of training members of Syria's Democratic Union Party (PYD), an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which Turkey has called a terrorist organization. Despite Turkey's heated protests, Pentagon officials reportedly said they will train PYD rebels in the Iraqi Kurdistan region. (ANSAmed).

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