ISTANBUL: Hundreds of Turks have crossed the border into Syria to fight with Al Qaeda linked jihadists against the Damascus regime, according to a Turkish interior ministry report.

Turkey’s government, which is fiercely opposed to President Bashar al-Assad, has come under fire for allegedly turning a blind eye to militants and weapons crossing the long border into Syria.

The interior ministry report, published in several Turkish newspapers on Wednesday, said about 500 Turkish citizens had joined the ranks of the Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

“Some have received training in Al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” the report said, according to Today’s Zaman newspaper.

Based on data collected by the National Intelligence Organisation and national police, the report said 13 Turks fighting alongside Al-Nusra had been killed in Syria.—AFP