Americas

US weighing info-sharing, military equipment for Turkey

- Official says US 'working on ways to support the Turks,' but it would not 'involve military moves by American units'

Michael Gabriel Hernandez   | 29.02.2020
US weighing info-sharing, military equipment for Turkey

Washington DC

WASHINGTON

The U.S. is urgently weighing information-sharing and the provision of military equipment to Turkey amid increasing hostilities in northwestern Syria's Idlib province, a senior State Department official said Friday.

The Trump administration is "working on ways to support the Turks," but stressed that would "not involve military moves by American units," the official told reporters.

"As a NATO ally, we have – and as a major foreign military sales partner, we have various information sharing and equipment relationships with the Turks. We’re looking at what we can do on an urgent basis right now to help them,” the official said.

At least 33 Turkish soldiers were martyred and dozens injured in an airstrike by Assad regime forces late Thursday in the Idlib de-escalation zone, just across Turkey’s southern border.

Another Turkish soldier was martyred and two were wounded Friday in Idlib, Turkey's Defense Ministry said.

In retaliation, Turkey destroyed eight regime tanks, four armored vehicles, five howitzers and two rocket launchers, the ministry said on Twitter.

Roughly 900,000 civilians have been displaced since the Syrian regime began its offensive in December on Idlib province with the assistance of Russian air power and Iranian-backed forces.

Thursday’s attack was one of a series since January on Turkish troops, with Turkish officials keeping a pledge that such assaults would not go unanswered.

More than 1.7 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks.

Since the eruption of the Syria conflict in 2011, Turkey has taken in some 3.7 million Syrians who fled their country, making it the world’s top refugee-hosting country.

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