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Middle East

Turkey accused of sending fighters to Syria

Damascus says Ankara sends foreign fighters to Syria to fight government troops.

Last updated: 31 Mar 2014 10:18
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Recently, the Syrian government complained to the UN that Ankara was providing cover to rebels [Reuters]

Syria's information minister has lashed out at Turkey, accusing Ankara of sending foreign fighters across the border to fight Syrian government troops in President Bashar Assad's ancestral homeland in Latakia province.

Omran al-Zoubi told the state TV on Sunday that neighbouring Turkey is facilitating the entry of "groups of foreigners, armed to their teeth" into Latakia, where fighting is raging between Syrian government forces and rebel fighters trying to oust Assad.

Recently, the Syrian government complained to the UN that Ankara was providing cover to rebels crossing the border to Syrian soil. 

Turkey is a NATO member that once had good ties with Syria. But the two countries had a falling out over Ankara's support for the Syrian opposition in the three-year-old conflict.

Hostilities have flared along the border on several occasions and last week, Turkey shot down a Syrian fighter jet, saying it violated its airspace.

Damascus rejects Ankara's airspace violation allegations, saying that the plane was hit on Syrian airspace.

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