Turkish FM: Agreement With US on Rebel Training, But Not Who They’ll Fight

Plan Is to Start Training Syrian Rebels in March

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has issued a statement today saying they have a “tentative” agreement with the US to begin training Syrian rebels in March, finally starting a planned training program officials have previously said will take a year.

The plan, funded by the US Congress last year, is to create a whole separate Syrian rebel faction which would be the new “pro-US” faction in the Syrian Civil War.

The statement says that the agreement is only on the fact that they’re training the Syrian rebels, but that the US and Turkey still disagree on who they’re actually rebelling against.

The US has presented this group as being created to fight ISIS, while Turkey envisions it primarily being used to impose regime change on the Assad government’s territory in Syria’s southwest. The two nations have been at odds over which to attack first for quite some time.

Right now, it seems the plan is to just start the training in March, and figure out who to fight in the meantime.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.