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Georgia denies Syrian rebels may be trained to fight Islamic State in its territory

September 24, 2014, 13:13 UTC+3 TBILISI
Georgia supports the international community in its fight against terrorism, but the country’s involvement will be confined to humanitarian missions, State Security and Crisis Management Council says
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© EPA/MAYSUN/Archive

TBILISI, September 24. /ITAR-TASS/. The Georgian government has dismissed claims by the United States’ Foreign Policy magazine there are plans for training Syrian rebels within the framework of an international anti-terrorist operation against the Islamic State.

“The reports to the effect there are plans for training Syrian rebels within the framework of the international anti-terrorist operation against the Islamic State have nothing to do with the reality,” the government’s State Security and Crisis Management Council said in a statement on Wednesday.

It also says that “Georgia has no plans for sending its military contingent to fight against the Islamic State or open any training center.”

At the same time, the Council says that “Georgia supports the international community in its struggle against terrorism, and the country’s active participation in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan is a confirmation of this.”

“As far as the international coalition against the Islamic State is concerned, Georgia’s involvement in it will be confined to humanitarian missions,” the statement says.

On Tuesday, Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said that “Georgia’s participation in the coalition against the Islamic State would be “exclusively humanitarian”. She also dismissed the possibility of Georgia’s military involvement in the activity of that coalition, saying that “creation of any bases for training anti-terrorist struggle groups was categorically ruled out.”

On September 23, the United States’ Foreign Policy magazine quoted an anonymous source in the US Administration as saying that Georgia had addressed the United States with an offer for housing a training base in its territory to train Syrian militias for operations against the Islamic State.

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