Damascus: Syria’s information minister has lashed out at Turkey, accusing Ankara of sending foreign fighters across the border to fight Syrian government troops in President Bashar Al Assad’s ancestral homeland in Latakia province.

Omran Al Zoabi says neighbouring Turkey is facilitating the entry of “groups of foreigners, armed to their teeth” into Latakia, where fighting is raging between Syrian government forces and rebels trying to oust Al Assad.

Al Zoabi spoke to Syrian state TV late on Sunday.

Turkey is a Nato member that once had good ties with Syria. But the two countries had a falling out over Ankara’s support for the Syrian opposition in the 3-year-old conflict.

Hostilities have flared along the border on several occasions and last week, Turkey shot down a Syrian fighter jet, saying it violated its airspace.