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POLITICS > Turkey denies arms shipment to Syria opposition

ANKARA - Agence France- Presse

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In this Friday, June 15, 2012 file photo, a Free Syrian Army fighter fires his weapon during clashes with Syrian troops near Idlib, Syria. AP Photo

In this Friday, June 15, 2012 file photo, a Free Syrian Army fighter fires his weapon during clashes with Syrian troops near Idlib, Syria. AP Photo

Ankara denied Friday allegations that it is shipping weapons to Syrian rebels across the border, after a report claimed Turkey was among nations arming rebels fighting the regime in Damascus.
 
"Turkey does not ship weapons to any neighbouring country, including Syria," foreign ministry spokesperson Selcuk Ünal said when asked whether Turkey was involved in an alleged arms delivery to Syrian rebels.

The New York Times newspaper reported Thursday that US intelligence operatives in Turkey were vetting the flow of weapons to Syrian rebels to ensure they do not fall into the hands of Al-Qaeda militants.
 
The Times cited unnamed US officials and Arab intelligence officials as saying the weapons were being paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar and taken across the Turkish border by a shadowy opposition network.
 
Ünal rebuffed Turkey's alleged role in any weapons delivery web into Syria, saying such articles were based on unidentified sources.
 
The weapons cited in the story include automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some anti-tank weapons, which have allowed the rebels to fight the far superior forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
 
Turkey, an old ally of the Damascus regime, broke with Assad last year as popular demonstrations in Syria were stomped on by bloody clashes that have taken at least 14,400 lives in 16 months.
 
Turkey is currently home to 32,750 Syrian refugees, arriving particularly from northwestern Syria that is close to the common border, said Unal. It also provides shelter to 12 Syrian generals who defected from the Syrian army to join up the ranks of the Syrian rebels, he added.

June/22/2012

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READER COMMENTS

Notice on comments

Eric Martin

6/23/2012 1:36:41 AM

Uzan, this is always a risk. Iraq government is a joke. The new government in Syria might be better.

Turk Uzan

6/22/2012 10:01:16 PM

But we should send weapons .... a massive amount of weapons .. kevlars, radio's small radars, mortars, AA missles, AT rockets... We don't need to give them tanks etc... just give them the weapons to fight the tanks etc. P.s. Do not give them reusable rocket launchers etc. though... or anything that can compete or hurt our army one day, Just make sure they win, you started it Erdo .. NOW FINISH IT. We do not need such a hostile nation next to us. Create a buffer zone

sam stevens

6/22/2012 9:06:36 PM

Yeah ,yeah, Turkey is innocent, she just sends her warplanes ...........to do what exactly over Syria ?

Aslam Benli

6/22/2012 6:34:46 PM

Lets just make sure we are helping the people of Syria/Syrian Rebel Army, and not the operatives of Al-Qaeda...

Blue Dotterel

6/22/2012 6:17:44 PM

Strictly speaking, Turkey is not sending weapons to Syria, it is allowing the US to send weapons to Syria from within Turkey.
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