Turkey steps up training of Syrian opposition forces

Turkey's state-run news agency says the country has intensified its training of Syrian opposition fighters.

Anadolu Agency reported Saturday that Turkish special forces are training larger Free Syrian Army groups in the use of weapons including mortars, rocket launchers and machine guns, in terrain similar to where the fighters operate.

The agency quoted an unidentified military official saying, "It's no longer the old FSA in the field but a new FSA being born. These FSA members in training will show their difference in possible future operations."

Anadolu said the training was stepped up after Turkey declared in March an end to the first phase of its cross-border operation with FSA against the Islamic State group and U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish militants in northern Syria.



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