US-Turkey to Sign MoU this Month to Train Syrian Fighters

07.01.2015 Syria
US-Turkey to Sign MoU this Month to Train Syrian Fighters

US-Turkey to Sign MoU this Month to Train Syrian Fighters

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Turkey and the US will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) this month to train Syrian opposition and provide them with necessary equipment, Turkish diplomatic sources said earlier this week.

The training program aims at training 15,000 opposition fighters during three years, Anadolu news agency quoted the sources, which it did not name, as saying.
They said the training would start in March.

Around 100 American Officers will be arriving in Turkey to participate in the training program, said the sources.

No details were available on the kind of equipment or weapons the opposition would get. 

Meanwhile, the US on Monday said it is “very concerned” about new visa requirements for Syrians crossing into Lebanon.

Despite tense relations between the two countries at times, Lebanese and Syrians have always been able to travel across the border easily, but the heavy influx of refugees into Lebanon over the past four years appears to be changing that.

Having to obtain visas “will create additional challenges for refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict,” State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters.

“We encourage the Government of Lebanon to coordinate closely with the UN in the development of criteria to ensure those fleeing violence and persecution are able to cross into Lebanon,” she added.

“We will continue to strongly encourage the governments of the region to provide refuge for asylum seekers.” Psaki noted the Obama Administration is “very grateful to the governments and the people of Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq for hosting more than three million refugees from Syria in total. We recognize this is a tremendous challenge for their economies and public services.”

The US has provided more than USD three billion in aid to those countries in order to deal with the Syrian refugee crisis.

Photo: Free Syrian Army fighters



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