Turkey and America to arm Syrian opposition forces

syrian forcesAn official statement released yesterday has confirmed that Turkey and the United States have entered a joint agreement to train and equip Syrian opposition forces currently operating in the country.

As part of the new deal Turkish authorities will match American pledges by providing an equal number of trainers to work with the fighters in Ankara.

Under the deal Turkish and American military experts will train moderate opposition fighters, while the two governments will also provide equipment to fight and set up military infrastructures.

The controversial deal is the result of an ongoing plan by America to tackle Islamic State militants in the area. As part of the new project America is also working with authorities in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan against ISIS forces.

After months of planning American forces confirmed that they intended to work with Turkey and 1,200 Syrian fighters in a joint deal aimed at tackling Islamic militants operating in Syria.

Shortly after plans were announced Turkish officials were quick to confirm that although they would be providing training and equipment that the Syrian forces in question would not be given access to highly improved weaponry.

The plan, which proved controversial for some groups, aims to train up to 5000 fighter, after an initial group of 1,200. Turkey hopes that the training will help forces to destabilise Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad, while America is hoping to tackle the growing threat of Islamic State militants in the region.

Turkey, who are strongly opposed to the al-Assad’s regime, have been accused of hypocrisy by Kurdish groups in the area – who accuse Turkish authorities of cooperating with Islamic State forces against Kurdish groups. According to Syrian-Kurds in the region Turkey has refused to cooperate with Kurdish groups by opening the Syria-Turkey border to allow the easy transport of refugees and military support. According to some Kurds, Turkey is opposed to Kurdish forces in the region, many of whom seek an independent Kurdish state.

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