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Enlarge font size Reduce font size The Indepenent: UK military in talks to help Syria Armed groups

International coalition could offer air and sea support as well as military training

A plan to provide military training to the Syrian armed groups  fighting the Syrian Army and support them with air and naval power is being drawn up by an international coalition including Britain, The Independent has learnt.

The head of Britain’s armed forces, General Sir David Richards, hosted a confidential meeting in London a few weeks ago attended by the military chiefs of France, Turkey, Jordan, Qatar and the UAE, and a three-star American general, in which the strategy was discussed at length. Other UK government departments and their counterparts in allied states in the mission have also been holding extensive meetings on the issue.

Britain, France and the US have agreed that none of their countries would have “boots on the ground” to help the armed groups. The training camps can be set up in Turkey.

Jihadist groups among the armed groups , some like Jabhat al-Nusra linked to al-Qa’ida, have steadily gained in power and influence because of their access to weapons and money coming from the Gulf states putting more secular groups at a severe disadvantage.