Syrian Turkish-backed rebels deny using German tanks
Syria’s Turkish-backed rebels on Wednesday denied reports that they had received from Ankara German-made tanks to use in battling Syrian Kurdish militias that Turkey regards as terrorists.
The pro-Turkey self-styled opposition Syrian Transitional Government said in a statement on Wednesday that its affiliated rebel Syrian National Army (SNA) has no military vehicles or tanks manufactured in Germany.
The weapons used by the SNA forces are all Russian-made and had been seized in earlier fighting against the Syrian government troops, the statement added.
A video, released in early November by the rebel faction Jaish al-Islam, an SNA affiliate, shows a German Leopard 2 tank. The tank had originally been delivered to Turkey, according to dpa information.
At the time, a spokesman for Jaish al-Islam confirmed to dpa that Turkey had provided the rebel militia with military equipment.
“We were given three heavily armoured vehicles and troop carriers,” the spokesman added.
He also said rebels had been trained in using Leopard 2 tanks.
However, an SNA spokesman at the time said those tanks only belonged to the Turkish forces.
Last month, Turkish troops and their allied Syrian rebels launched an offensive against Kurdish insurgents in north-eastern Syria.
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