EU Calls on Turkey to Cease Military Operation in Syria
23:12 09.10.2019(updated 00:18 10.10.2019)
Following aerial and artillery attacks on military positions of the Kurdish militia on Wednesday, Turkish forces have launched another stage of their 'Peace Spring' operation by advancing into northern territories of the war-torn country.
The EU has condemned the action. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Turkey must immediately end its offensive.
"Turkey must cease the ongoing military operation. It will not work. And if Turkey's plan is to create a security zone, do not expect funding from the European Union", Jean-Claude Juncker told the European Parliament in Brussels.
The EU rejected Turkish plans for a safe zone for refugees.
"The EU calls upon Turkey to cease the unilateral military action [...] It is unlikely that a so-called 'safe zone' in north-east Syria, as envisaged by Turkey, would satisfy international criteria for refugee return", it said in a joint statement by the 28 member-states.
An estimated 40 commanders of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been killed or injured as a result of attacks by the Turkish Air Force in border areas in northeast Syria earlier on Wednesday, an eyewitness said.
Earlier in the day, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the start of his 'Operation Peace Spring' in northern Syria against Kurdish groups and Daesh terrorists. Erdogan said the goal of the operation is to neutralize terror threats against Turkey and establish a safe zone in the area.
Turkey views Kurdish forces in Syria as an extension of the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK), which has been classified by Ankara as a terrorist organization. The People's Protection Units (YPG) is the party's armed wing.
Damascus does not recognize the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), which controls the territories east of the Euphrates River, or the SDF. Syrian authorities have also repeatedly condemned Turkey's occupation policy in northern Syria.
*Daesh (ISIS, ISIL, IS, Islamic State) is a terrorist organization banned in Russia and many other countries.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|