Saudi forces in Turkey for air campaign in Syria
Iran Press TV
Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:19PM
More than two dozen Saudi Air Force personnel and a cargo of military equipment have arrived in Turkey to prepare for a joint air campaign in Syria.
Turkish media said on Thursday that some 30 officers had arrived onboard two C-130 military cargo planes at Incirlik military airbase south of Turkey two days ago.
The military personnel are expected to prepare for the deployment of Saudi fighter jets which are due to arrive in Turkey in the coming hours.
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday that he expects the warplanes, which are to allegedly take part in an air campaign against Daesh Takfiri group in Syria, to be stationed at the Incirlik later in the day or on Friday.
However, some reports said the Saudi jets had already been deployed to Incirlik.
The deployment would be the first ever for Saudi warplanes in Turkey. There are already jets belonging to the United States, Britain and France at Incirlik, all allegedly involved in ongoing US-led air strikes against Daesh in Iraq and Syria.
Despite having an array of differences on regional issues, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have coordinated efforts aimed at ousting the government of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. The two countries recently announced potential plans for dispatching ground troops to Syria to fight Daesh. The plan was later apparently withdrawn with Cavusoglu saying that sending troops to Syria is not on the agenda.
Riyadh and Ankara have widely been blamed for the surge in the deadly militancy in Syria as the pair have been supporting militants with funds, training and weapons.
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