Turkey reiterates ‘only’ moderate groups supported in Syria

Turkish Foreign Ministry denies claims of deal with Saudi Arabia that plans to unite all opposition groups in one camp, underlining ‘only’ moderate groups supported in Syria

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic refuted claims of reports on uniting with Saudi Arabia for an aggressive strategy to bring down Bashar al Assad regime by bringing all opposition groups in Syria including extremist ones, reiterating “only” moderate groups are supported in Syria.

Speaking to Daily Sabah on Thursday, Bilgic said Turkey will continue the training programme which was signed by Turkey and the US and that “the only cooperation between Turkey and Saudi Arabia regarding Syria is the train-equip programme.”

The claim of a deal between Saudi Arabia and Turkey to unite opposition groups in Syria was made by Associated Press earlier in the day, referring an unnamed Turkish official.

The claims include uniting groups in Syria like the Nusra Front, which is linked to Al Qaeda, to take down the regime of Assad.

“The agreement between Turkey and the US recognises extremist organisations as a serious threat to the region,” Bilgic said.

Bilgic said the train-equip programme signed on Feb. 17  aims to achieve an actual political transformation in the war-torn Syria.

Training Syrian opposition groups is a part of a comprehensive operation to defeat ISIS militants who have seized large areas of Syria and Iraq since last year.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey agreed to help opposition groups not only to fight ISIS but also to fight the Assad regime.

Qatar and Saudi Arabia were not part of the training programme signed by Turkey and the US.

TRTWorld and agencies