The New York Times has reported that the Turkish military is providing shelter to an armed opposition group fighting against Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president.

While Turkish officials describe the relationship as purely humanitarian, whereby their primary concern is the safety of the defectors, the group, which calls itself the Free Syrian Army (FSA), is said to have claimed responsibility for killing nine Syrian soldiers.

Colonel Riad Asa’ad, the leader of the group, has asked the international community to provide them with weapons to use against the Syrian government. He has also said the FSA are ready for military operations.

Al Jazeera spoke to Louay Safi, a member of the Syrian opposition, about the reports.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies