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Iran Press TV

EU censures Turkey's Syria incursion, warns of consequences

Iran Press TV

Mon Oct 14, 2019 02:59PM

The European Union has censured Turkey's offensive against Kurds in northeastern Syria, warning about "dramatic consequences" of Ankara's action.

"The EU condemns Turkey's military action, which seriously undermines the stability and the security of the whole region."

That is part of a joint statement issued at a meeting of European foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday.

Turkey's act of aggression on the Syrian soil, the statement added, would have "dramatic consequences."

The EU member states also hailed a decision made by some members, including France and Germany, to halt weapons exports to Turkey but failed to agree on an EU-wide arms embargo on Ankara.

Ahead of the meeting in Luxembourg, France and Germany called on the EU members to put the embargo on Turkey and ask Ankara to immediately stop the deadly operation.

"France expects from this meeting to make a certain demand for ending the offensive and to adopt a firm stance towards weapons exports to Turkey," French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said, warning against a humanitarian catastrophe that would ensue.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also warned that "other measures" might be taken against the Turkish government, in addition to a halt in weapons exports.

"We want the EU to discuss this issue, which is stopping weapons exports to Turkey on the European level, in addition to that, other choices will remain open depending on Turkey's behavior in the future," Mass said.

The German official said the Turkish offensive threatened regional stability.

Turkish military forces and militants of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA), who enjoy Ankara's patronage, launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion of northeast Syria on October 9 in a declared attempt to eliminate Kurdish militants from the People's Protection Units (YPG) to push them away from border areas.

The YPG constitutes the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an anti-Damascus alliance of predominantly Kurdish militants.

Ankara views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been involved in armed separatism in Turkey since 1984.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that Ankara would not stop its operation "no matter what anyone says."

Washington has long been providing the YPG and SDF militants with arms, calling them a key partner in the purported fight against the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group in Syria. Many observers, however, see the support as part of plans by the United States to carve out a foothold in the Arab country.

The Turkish military, with support from allied militants of the FSA, launched two cross-border operations in northern Syria, namely Euphrates Shield in August 2016 and Olive Branch in January 2018, with the declared aim of eradicating the presence of Kurdish militants and Daesh terrorists near Turkey's borders.

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