10:03 GMT +320 November 2019
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    Turkish Army soldiers prepare their tanks next to empty shells at a staging area in the outskirts of the village of Sugedigi, Turkey, on the border with Syria, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018

    French Foreign Minister Calls on EU to Consider Turkish Arms Embargo Amid Syria Offensive

    © AP Photo / Lefteris Pitarakis
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    Ankara launched "Operation Peace Spring" last Wednesday, vowing to drive Daesh* terrorists and US-backed Kurdish fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) out of northern Syria, resulting in an escalation of tensions in the region.

    The French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, stated on Monday that the European Union must condemn the Turkish military offensive in Syria and urged to adopt an arms embargo on Ankara.

    "This offensive is going to cause serious humanitarian devastation", he said before a meeting with his EU counterparts in Luxembourg.

    The minister also noted that the bloc should request to hold anti-Daesh coalition talks with Washington.

    Paris and Berlin previously restricted arms sales to Turkey amid the operation in Syria, while US President Donald Trump warned he is working with Congress to establish "powerful sanctions" against Ankara. The Arab League has also condemned the Turkish government's move.

    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, however, refused to stop the offensive, stressing that Turkey would continue until its border is secured from the militants.

    A Turkish police armoured vehicle patrols the border between Turkey and Syria, in Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey
    © AP Photo / Lefteris Pitarakis
    A Turkish police armoured vehicle patrols the border between Turkey and Syria, in Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey

    Ankara planned its operation in northern Syria to create a safe zone in the area with US forces. The American side later stated that it wouldn't participate in the action, so US troops had to leave several zones in order to maintain a safe distance from the fighting. Turkey is now fighting against the Kurdish-led SDF militants, which it considers to be affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), blacklisted by Ankara as a terror organisation.

    Damascus has condemned the operation, noting it is yet another violation of Syria's sovereignty by the Turkish military.

    * Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/IS/Islamic State) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia

    Tags:
    Recep Tayyip Erdogan, France, Jean-Yves Le Drian, military offiensive, military operation, Turkey, Syria
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