Washington DC [USA], Mar 3 (Sputnik/ANI): The United States is willing to provide Turkey with equipment so that Ankara can conduct military operations in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, US Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey said during a briefing on Tuesday.
"Turkey is a NATO ally. Much of the military use American equipment. We will make sure that equipment is ready and usable," Jeffrey said as quoted by the Daily Sabah.
In addition, US Ambassador to Turkey David Satterfield told reporters during the briefing that the United States is assessing Turkey's request to obtain Patriot surface-to-air missiles amid increased fighting in Idlib, the report said.
The Syrian government of President Bashar Assad has begun operations against Islamic militants in Idlib, which remains their last stronghold in the country. More than 50 Turkish soldiers have been killed in recent Syrian army airstrikes and other operations. Turkey has shot down several Syrian airplanes and helicopters.
The fighting has heightened tensions between Turkey, the Syrian government and its ally Russia. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to push back the Syrian army if they fail to pull back to predetermined lines in Idlib.
The Syrian government has blamed Turkey - and the United States - for shielding Islamic terrorists in Syria while being present illegally in the country and stealing its resources. (Sputnik/ANI)