EU's Mogherini 'Extremely Worried' About Turkish Op in Syria's Afrin
18:29 22.01.2018(updated 19:10 22.01.2018)
Ankara has been conducting Operation Olive Branch in Afrin since Saturday in order to bring security along the Turkish borders under control.
At the meeting with EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday, the bloc's foreign affairs chief expressed concern that the Turkish operation in Afrin may undermine the peace talks on Syria in Geneva and lead to the deterioration of the humanitarian situation on the ground.
"I'm extremely worried," Mogherini said commenting on the ongoing operation. She stressed it is essential to ensure the security of civilians and their access to the humanitarian assistance amid the operation. She also added it is important to make sure that the military activity "is focused at anti-Daesh in terms of strategy."
The situation in Syria has become particularly tense in the wake of the launch of Operation Olive Branch. Turkish aircraft started airstrikes against targets in Afrin on Saturday, while Turkish ground troops entered the region on Sunday.
The operation has caused a mixed reaction from the world powers. Damascus called it a violation of Syria's sovereignty. Russia has also said that the principle of Syria's territorial integrity should be fundamental. Egypt and Iran have pointed to the fact that the ongoing offensive may disrupt the peace initiative in the country.
The UK and the US have described Ankara's concerns over the security of its borders as legitimate, while France has come up with an initiative of convening an urgent US Security Council meeting.
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