Turkey’s state intelligence agency helped deliver arms to parts of
Syria under Islamist rebel control during late 2013 and early 2014,
according to a prosecutor and court testimony from gendarmerie officers
seen by Reuters.
The witness testimony contradicts Turkey’s denials that it sent arms
to Syrian rebels and, by extension, contributed to the rise of Islamic
State, now a major concern for the NATO member.
Syria and some of Turkey’s Western allies say Turkey, in its haste to
see President Bashar al-Assad toppled, let fighters and arms over the
border, some of whom went on to join the Islamic State militant group
which has carved a self-declared caliphate out of parts of Syria and
Ankara has denied arming Syria’s rebels or assisting hardline
Islamists. Diplomats and Turkish officials say it has in recent months
imposed tighter controls on its borders.
Testimony from gendarmerie officers in court documents reviewed by
Reuters allege that rocket parts, ammunition and semi-finished mortar
shells were carried in trucks accompanied by state intelligence agency
(MIT) officials more than a year ago to parts of Syria under Islamist
The news comes days after Department of Defense documents obtained by Judicial Watch confirm the CIA’s role in shipping arms to Syria from Libya.