A senior Turkish security-military delegation is currently in Israel to discuss a possible US military strike against Syria with Israeli officials, media reports said.
“This security-military team discussed ways Israel-Turkey cooperation, specially their collaborative role in the possible US-led strike on Syria, and the duties and missions delegated to Ankara in this regard,” the Palestine-based Arabic-language weekly Al-Manar quoted informed sources as saying.
The weekly underlined that the Turkish delegation, comprising four ranking officers, is still in Israel.
Turkey and Israel have on numerous occasions helped the armed rebels fighting against the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since the beginning of crisis in Syria in May 2011.
Earlier today, Turkey’s former Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener, who is a close friend of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, criticized the Turkish government for providing heavy weapons to the terrorist groups and organizations in Syria, including the notorious al-Nusra Front, warning that the policy would entail dangerous consequences.
“The Erdogan government has sent a large volume of heavy weapons to the terrorist group, the al-Nusra Front, affiliated to the al-Qaeda in Syria and this is while even the US has listed the al-Nusra as a terrorist group,” Sener told FNA in Ankara on Sunday.
“This move is highly dangerous,” he warned.
Sener described Turkey’s meddling in its neighbor’s internal affairs as a mistake, and said, “Turning the region into a region for trading smuggled arms and supporting this trade is a wrong policy of Erdogan’s government.”
Earlier reports said that Ankara has sent 400 tons of arms supplied by some Persian Gulf states to militants in Syria to bolster their fight against the government of President Assad.
“Twenty trailers crossed from Turkey and are being distributed to arms depots for several brigades across the North,” said Mohammad Salam, a rebel operative who witnessed the crossing from an undisclosed location in Hatay.
The delivery is being called the single biggest weapons cache to reach the rebels since the unrest began over two years ago.
The shipment follows the recent gas attack in the suburbs of Damascus that killed anywhere from dozens to over 1,000 civilians. Syrian officials, who said they discovered chemical weapons in a rebel hideout outside the capital, blamed the rebels for the attack.
The consignment – mostly ammunition for shoulder-fired weapons and anti-aircraft machine guns – came into northern Syria via the Turkish province of Hatay, and was already being handed out, sources said.
Turkey has been openly calling for regime change and military action in Syria since the country was hit by unrest in 2011 but Turkish political opposition parties have strongly rejected any military strikes on Syria.