Turkey, US to Sign Agreement on Training, Equipping Syrian Opposition
19:33 17.02.2015(updated 20:10 17.02.2015)
A total of 15,000 Syrian opposition militants will be trained in Turkey, Jordan and Saudi Arabia over a period of three years.
MOSCOW, (Sputnik) – Turkey and the US will sign an agreement on a 'training and equipment program' for Syrian opposition forces in the coming days, a Turkish official said Tuesday.
'In the coming days we will sign a memorandum of understanding with the US on a moderate Syrian opposition training and equipment program,' Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic told reporters at a press conference.
The official also noted that the training program was likely to start in March.
A total of 15,000 Syrian opposition militants will be trained in Turkey, Jordan and Saudi Arabia over a period of three years, according to local media. Two thousand will be trained in Turkey as part of the campaign against jihadists from the Islamic State (IS) group and the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The US will provide weapons and ammunition for the militants, while training will be conducted by the Turkish military, local press informed.
In 2013, US experts were reported to be working alongside their Jordanian counterparts to train Syrian opposition forces in Jordan.
Since 2011, Syria's political turmoil has gradually turned into a civil war. Government forces have been clashing with armed rebel groups, including Islamic State, which are fighting to overthrow Assad's government.
The civil war has claimed the lives of more than 210,000 people, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
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