Saturday, 18 October 2014 11:15

Turkey Offers to Train, Equip Syrian Rebels in Fight against ISIS

Turkey has suggested training and equipping Syrian opposition forces together with its partner states on Turkish soil to help them fight ISIS, Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkir said Thursday. According to the minister, Ankara suggests "using special forces that are already in Syria." "We can separate opposition forces from al-Nusra, al-Qaeda, IS and Hezbollah, and those who are really trained to fight in specific conditions may come to Turkey, we can train and equip them together and send them to solve the problem of ISIS once and for all," Bozkir said speaking to the European Parliament. The minister added that Ankara suggests "creating a buffer zone after we get rid of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, so that it would be possible to send some of the refugees back to their homes." Salem al-Meslet, spokesman for the Syrian Coalition, said that Turkey’s rejection of the Western calls to open the border in front of non-Syrian Kurdish fighters to defend Ayn al-Arab (Kobane) is realistic and justified as it illogical to throw civilians in armed conflict and without prior training, at a time when no tangible support has yet been received by the FSA which is the only credible force able to defeat ISIS. He also said that the FSA has driven ISIS out of more than 14 areas in Syria within a few days, while the military strikes being carried out by the international anti-ISIS coalition have so far failed to yield any tangible results on the ground, citing ISIS advance on the town of Ayn al-Arab (Kobane). Meslet points out that the international community bears the responsibility for the tragic situation in Syria as it has not outlines a clear and comprehensive strategy to fight extremism in the region, calling for the international anti-ISIS alliance to reconsider its strategy in the fight against terrorism.” (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)

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