The German government said it had no information on whether Turkey handed over German Leopard tanks to Syrian rebels.
This followed press reports that Ankara may hand over German tanks to Syrian rebels.
The German government has said it has no information on Turkey’s delivery of German-made Leopard tanks to Syrian rebels.
“Of course we are very interested in taking into account the adherence to the arms export rules in these cases as well”, Ulrike Demer, deputy spokesman for the German government in Berlin, said on Friday (November 22, 2019).
The German newspaper “Bild” has talked about the possibility of delivery of these tanks from the Turkish side to the Syrian rebels.
During the attack in northern Syria, Turkey also used German Leopard 2 tanks in support of Islamist rebels there.
A video released by the so-called Army of Islam in early November showed scenes of Turkish forces advancing against the YPG in northern Syria near the village of Bab Al Khair, and a Leopard 2 tank, it is what has been exported to Turkey.
A spokesman for the “Jaish Al Islam” confirmed to the German news agency (dpa) at the beginning of the month that the Turkish army and Syrian opposition forces advanced together near the border of the city of Ras Al Ain.
The spokesman for the “Jaish Al Islam” Hamza Bayrakdar that Turkey has provided “Jaish Al Islam” with weapons and heavy equipment, indicating: “Turkey has given us three armored vehicles and a soldiers armored transport vehicles”.
He responded positively to the question of whether the rebel coalitions, the so-called Syrian National Army, had been trained in Leopard II.
However, Yusuf Hammud, a spokesman for the Syrian National Army, denied that the tanks belonged to the Turkish forces.
“In the Syrian National Army, we don’t have the capability to drive such vehicles”, he said.
He explained that the pictures were taken during a rest period to remind those of the fallen fighters of the Syrian National Army.