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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Turkey to Train Syrian Opposition Fighters: US State Department

RIA Novosti

21:30 10/10/2014

WASHIHNGTON, October 10 (RIA Novosti) - Turkey will train and equip the moderate Syrian opposition, a spokeswoman for the US State Department told reporters during a briefing Friday.

'General Allen and Brett Mcgurk discussed how Turkey can play a role, understand coming from those discussions that Turkey has agreed to support training and equip efforts for the moderate Syrian opposition. There will be a DOD [Department of Defense] planning team traveling to Ankara next week to continue planning that through military channels,' said Marie Harf.

In September, President Barack Obama announced that a part of the US strategy for countering the threat of the Islamic State (IS) will include providing training for so-called moderate Syrian opposition fighters.

The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), is a radical Sunni group, which has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, it extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq.

For the last three weeks, IS militants have besieged Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, one of the largest towns in the Kurdish region of Syria bordering Turkey. The IS attacks forced more than 180,000 civilians, mostly Kurds, to flee into neighboring Turkey.

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