ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey's foreign minister says the start of a joint Turkish-U.S. program to train and arm Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State group has been delayed.
Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview on Turkish state television Monday that the program has been pushed back due to technical reasons and not because of any disagreement with the United States. He did not say when the program would start.
Turkey and the U.S. reached a deal on training and arming the rebels in February after several months of negotiations. Turkish officials had previously said training would begin in March but later pushed the start date to May.
The U.S. Defense Department has said it is aiming to train 5,000 Syrians a year for three years in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.