US, Turkey claim concerns over radical Syria militants, but back opposition

US president and Turkish prime minister have reportedly voiced concern over foreign mercenaries engaged in foreign-backed armed efforts to topple the Syrian government.

Despite the concern, President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan have also expressed their support for the Syrian opposition, which fights along the side of the radical militants against the Damascus government, Moscow-based RIA Novosti reports Thursday, citing a White House statement.

“The [US] President and [Turkish] Prime Minister discussed the danger of foreign extremists in Syria and agreed on the importance of supporting a unified and inclusive Syrian opposition,” added the statement, which was released following a telephone conversation between Obama and Erdogan.

According to the report, a recent study by a Washington think tank and a “terrorism research group” called Flashpoint Global Partners, most of the 280 foreign militants found killed inside Syria between July 2012 and May 2013 came “from nearby countries.”

The study further discovered that at least 17 fighters of Russian origin had been killed over the same period, including 10 from the Muslim-populated North Caucasus regions, the report adds.

The development comes as Washington has recently vowed to expand its military support of the foreign-backed militants fighting the Syrian government.

Turkey, meanwhile, has persistently served as a major supply line and safe haven for the foreign-sponsored militants.

The key Arab country in the Middle East has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to press reports, Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are widely supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and a total of 7.8 million displaced due to the violence.

By Press TV


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