“Turkey Agrees To Train, Equip Moderate Syrian Opposition”

131227102313-turkish-flag-620xaTurkey has agreed to train and equip a moderate opposition in Syria to help battle the self-declared Islamic State, the U.S. State Department says.

“There will be a planning team traveling to Ankara next week to continue planning that through military channels,” spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters, describing a visit to Turkey by two senior U.S. officials.

The remarks come as France today expressed support Ankara’s call for a buffer zone between Syria and Turkey and the United Nations warned that hundreds of civilians trapped in the border town of Kobani face a possible massacre if ISIS militants succeed in their offensive aimed at capturing it.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Friday: “We support the idea of a buffer zone,” although he said such a move would require “extremely close international coordination.”

Turkey’s request to establish a no-fly zone in the area has met with little enthusiasm by the U.S. and NATO.
The U.S. Central Command says that U.S. fighters, along with warplanes from the UAE and Saudi Arabia, carried out airstrikes on Thursday and Friday around the southeast of Kobani and in Deir al-Zour, in eastern Syria.

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