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Urfa, Turkey – The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday that there is “a preliminary agreement” between Turkey and the United States to provide air support for the Syrian “moderate” opposition factions who are being trained in Turkey to combat jihadists of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS).
In a press statement on the sidelines of MİKTA Group meetings in the South Korean capital Seoul, Cavusoglu stressed that the Syrian moderate opposition forces who currently undergo training in the barracks of Bakhtiar Aydin, near the Turkish city of Krshahyr, will receive air support during the fight against radical groups, mainly the Islamic State and Nusra Front.
“It is necessary for these forces (moderates) to receive an air cover in order to guarantee effective operations against the radicals,” he said.
The Turkish Foreign Minister did not give further details on how to provide such a support, pointing out that there is an initial agreement between Turkey and the U.S. to provide an aerial support.
Cavusoglu added that what Turkey awaits from the moderate Syrian opposition’s training program is a political solution for the four-year crisis in the neighboring country, pointing out that Daesh (ISIL) and the regime’s attacks on the Syrian people continue, “so it is necessary to restore the military balance on the ground through the U.S.-Turkish training program to the moderate opposition fighters”.
He said that the establishment of a no-fly zone and a buffer zone in Syria is part of the solution in the long run.
Speaking to ARA News, Syrian journalist Rezan Hamo said that the Assad regime mainly relies on the air force “in its war against Syrian people”.
“So, in case rebels receive air support, Assad’s days in power could be counted,” Hamo argued.
“However, we have learned during these four years not to believe a promise before we see real action on the ground,” he added.
The Turkish-American training program for the so-called moderate Syrian rebels aims to train and equip some 15,000 fighters to combat extremists.
Reporting by: Jan Nasro
Source: ARA News