Cyprus Mail

World figures decry Turkey’s Syrian ground offensive

A multi-rocket launcher fires in an unknown location October 9, 2019 in this still image from a video obtained from the Turkish Defence Ministry. Turkish Defence Ministry/Handout/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.

Turkey has been criticised by leading EU and world figures after it launched airstrikes, fired artillery and began a ground offensive against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria on Wednesday after US troops pulled back from the area.


U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday warned Turkey against attacking Syria, saying its assault was “a bad idea” not backed by the United States, and called on Ankara to protect religious minorities.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, while noting that Turkey “has legitimate security concerns” after suffering “horrendous terrorist attacks” and hosting thousands of refugees, said the country should not “further destabilize the region” with its military action in Syria.

U.S. senators Lindsey Graham and Chris Van Hollen on Wednesday unveiled an outline for proposed sanctions on Turkey, including targeting the U.S. assets of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and imposing visa restrictions

Canada condemned Turkey‘s assault saying it risked undermining both the stability of a fragile region and efforts to contain the Islamic State.


French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on his Twitter feed that he condemns the unilateral Turkish and Syrian operation in northeast Syria while German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas condemned the offensive, saying it will “further destabilize the region and strengthen” the so-called Islamic State.

Britain’s foreign secretary Dominic Raab said on Wednesday he had “serious concerns” about Turkey‘s offensive in northeast Syria.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the operation risked destabilising the region and harming civilians.

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok summoned the Turkish ambassador and said: “The Netherlands condemns the Turkish offensive in northeast Syria. “We call on Turkey not to continue on the path they are going down.”

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the operation risked destabilising the region and harming civilians.

Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod tweeted: “Deeply concerned about Turkish military operation in Syria. In my view, this is a regrettable and wrong decision, which can have serious consequences for civilians and the fight against ISIL (Islamic State). Turkey must show restraint. Denmark is in close contact with allies on the matter.”

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker urged Turkey to show restraint and stop its military operation. “If the plan involves the creation of a so-called safe zone, don’t expect the EU to pay for any of it,” he said.


The Bahrain foreign ministry on Wednesday condemned the Turkish offensive in northeast Syria, according to state news agency BNA.

Egypt’s foreign ministry condemned the offensive as “a blatant and unacceptable attack on the sovereignty of a brotherly Arab state”. It called for an emergency meeting of the League of Arab States.


The Arab League will hold an emergency meeting on Saturday, it said in a statement, following a call by Egypt for the body to meet over Turkey’s offensive into Syria.

The Arab League, which groups 22 states including Egypt, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, said in a statement on Wednesday that Saturday’s meeting would be at the ministerial level “to discuss the Turkish aggression” on Syrian territory.

Meanwhile Iran‘s parliament speaker Ali Larijani has cancelled his scheduled trip to Turkey, Iranian state TV reported, after Ankara launched a military operation against Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria on Wednesday

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