Turkey: US Agrees ‘in Principle’ to Air Support for New Syria Rebel Force

Turkish FM: No Point Training New Force if They Don't Get Air Support

Turkish officials are claiming to have reached an agreement “in principle” with the US on providing air support for the new rebel faction that they are training for the Syrian Civil War.

If you do not protect them or provide air support, what is the point?” noted Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, though Turkish officials did say the US had rejected another effort to extend this into a nation-wide US-imposed no-fly zone.

The Pentagon has said they expect to have 5,000 trained per year for three years at bases in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, though so far they appear far short of that estimate in the number of vetted recruits even available to train.

US officials had previously indicated they had no plan in place for how, or even if, they’d actually be supporting the new rebels once they turn them loose in Syria, leading to speculation that the faction would be pretty much immediately wiped out by ISIS and other groups.

Cavusoglu’s comments suggest that there still isn’t too much settled on the matter, except that the US agrees that just spending $500 million creating a new force and sending them to their deaths isn’t plan A.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.