November 24, 2014 / 5:08 PM / in 3 years

Turkey to host training for 2,000 Syrian rebels: official

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish and U.S. forces will train 2,000 moderate Syrian rebel fighters at a base in the central Turkish city of Kirsehir as part of the campaign against Islamic State insurgents, a Turkish Foreign Ministry official said on Monday.

Members of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) walk past an area damaged by what activists said was a car blown up by a suicide bomber loyal to the Islamic State, in an attempt to target a YPG headquarter in Al-Hras village in Ras Al-Ain countryside November 23, 2014. REUTERS/Rodi Said

Turkey had agreed in principle to train and equip Syrian rebel forces as part of the U.S.-led military campaign against Islamic State, but details on the numbers involved and where the training would take place had yet to be announced.

The announcement comes after U.S. Vice President Joe Biden met with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul over the weekend to discuss Turkey’s role in the military coalition against Islamic State insurgents.

The Turkish official said the 2,000 Syrian rebel fighters would be among a total of 5,000 being trained in several countries as part of the U.S.-led campaign.

Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz; Writing by Nick Tattersall; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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