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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

US, Turkey Ink Deal to Train and Arm Syrian Rebels

A representative for the US Embassy in Ankara, Turkey stated February 19 that the US and Turkey had finally come to terms on training and arming Syrian rebels after months of discussion.

US Ambassador John Bass and Turkish Foreign Ministry undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu inked the agreement, but many details of the deal remain classified. Public disclosures on the agreement so far indicate that training could begin as early as next month at a Turkish military facility in Kirsehir and is likely to involve several hundred Syrian fighters.

This is in addition to the thousands of Kurdish forces trained to date. Sinirlioglu stated, via the Anadolu news agency that the deal is “an important step” in the partnership between Turkey and the US Indeed, part of the holdup in coming to terms between the two nations was a disagreement over exactly who the forces would engage.

Washington has focused on targeting the Islamic State, and while Turkey has no problem with that, they would also like these rebels to target forces of Syria’s Assad regime. It is possible that the US conceded this demand as Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated February 17 that the rebels would target regime forces.

Read complete report here.

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