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US-Turkey Pact to Train & Arm Syrian Rebels
Feb 28, 2015

Turkey and the United States signed an agreement to train and arm Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State (IS) group. The two countries have been in talks about such a pact for several months.

  • The deal is an important step in the strategic partnership between Turkey and the United States. The Turkish government has said the training by US and Turkish soldiers could begin as early as next month at a base in the central Anatolian city of Kirsehir.

  • It will involve hundreds of Syrian fighters in the first year. The goal is to go after the Islamic State group.

  • With its 750 mile border on Syria, Turkey is a key part of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State group.

  • Turkey is already training Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in Northern Iraq, who have been battling Islamic State militants.

  • It is not clear who will decide which rebels will receive the training.

  • The US has screened about 1,200 moderate Syrian rebels to participate in training in Turkey, Saudia Arabia and Qatar.

  • The US Congress passed legislation authorizing the training and providing 500 million dollar for training about 5,000 rebels over the next year.


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