Damascus Not Taking Train-Equip Seriously
 Şafak Terzi 

“The AKP government is out there searching for oil dollars in the Gulf countries before the upcoming general elections, which is again why Erdoğan is in Saudi Arabia. He needs the US support.”

Syrian Undersecretary of Information Ministry Dr. Bessam Ebu Abdullah told Şafak Terzi of Aydınlık Newspaper in an exclusive interview, regarding the Train-Equip Program and Syrian’s approach to the issue. 

  • What does the Syrian government think about the Train-Equip Program?

President Assad stated that the story behind this program is fake. It is not a serious agreement, which will not change anything in Syria. Americans and the AKP government used thousands of terrorists for 4 years and nothing has changed. They also know it. They might be trying to empower other terrorist organizations, Kuridsh or whatever, under the color of a train program. It means the violation of international law. 

  • You do not think that this program is applicable?

Some parties in Turkey claim that Turkey will be harmed by this program. It is a very dangerous situation for Turkey. Syrian Coalition in Istanbul, some opposition members, think that the program, which is fake will not change anything in Syria. 

  • Why do the US and Turkey take such steps?

The AKP government is out there searching for oil dollars in the Gulf countries before the upcoming general elections. They want to show to them that they can do something about the terrorists, whom they call Syrian opposition. We can understand this from Erdoğan’s visit to Saudi Arabia, and Qatar Prince’ to Ankara. [ The AKP] is in need of money. And, also the support of the US, which is why they signed the Train-Equip Program. 

- What do you think about the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) attitude towards this agreement? 

As the Turkish media reports, they do not want it, which is why the AKP government assigned MİT (Turkish Intelligence Organization) to the job. MİT is responsible for this agreement, not TSK. Turkish officials in the army are quite worried about it, not wanting the army to be remembered in the future as training terrorists. They think that it would be the first time in history. They also think that it is very dangerous to train these terrorists. […] This sensitivity also applies to the training of YPG and peshmergas. 

  • You mean that TSK is preventing the agreement? 

Yes. Turkish army is not supporting this at all. […] They are entirely against the Syrian politics of the AKP government and they know that it will lead to the separation of Turkey. I mean, establishment of a Kurdish state. 

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