Turkey urges anti-IS coalition to train Syrian moderate rebels


Rebels of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). File photo

ARA News

Istanbul, Turkey – On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized the U.S. and its allies’ deceleration in response to the conditions set by his country in order to play an efficient role in the international coalition’s campaign against the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) in Syria and Iraq. 

“The international parties have not yet taken decisive or serious steps regarding training fighters from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to combat IS and the Assad regime,” said Erdogan.

Erdogan added that Turkey “will not change its position” and join effectively in the anti-IS campaign if the western powers did not fulfill these conditions.

“We aim to alleviate Syrians’ hardships and stop the Syrian regime’s use of barrel bombs against residential areas in northern Syria. A no-fly zone is needed there to guarantee minimization of civilians’ casualties.”

However, the participation of Turkey in the international coalition’s campaign is confined so far to the entry of a group of Peshmerga fighters to Syria’s Kobane (sent by Kurdistan Regional Government KRG) to fight IS militants.

The Special Representative of the U.S. President for the anti-IS affairs, retired Gen. John Allen is currently visiting Turkey.

Turkish local media, quoting U.S. officials, reported that Allen is visiting the Turkish capital Ankara to hold consultations with senior Turkish officials about the anti-IS international campaign.

Speaking to ARA News, Ismail Doghan, a Turkish political analyst, said that Gen. Allen, during his talks with Turkish officials, “will most likely address the issue of training moderate fighters of the Syrian opposition on the Turkish territory.”


Reporting by: Mohammed Nasser

Source: ARA News

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