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    Local residents applaud as a convoy of Turkish forces trucks transporting tanks is driven in Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, at the border with Syria

    EU Leaders Condemn Turkey's Operation in Northern Syria, Call for End to Military Action

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The European Council condemned Turkey's military operation in northern Syria, noted the Turkish-US deal to suspend the offensive and called for ending military action in the area.

    "The EU condemns Turkeyʼs unilateral military action in North-East Syria which causes unacceptable human suffering, undermines the fight against Daʼesh and threatens heavily European security. The European Council notes tonightʼs US-Turkey announcement on a pause for all military operations. It again urges Turkey to end its military action, to withdraw its forces and to respect international humanitarian law," the Council said in conclusions on the results of the first day of the EU leaders summit in Brussels late on Thursday.

    The European Council recalled that the EU member states had decided to end arms export licensing to Turkey amid its Operation Peace Spring.

    "The European Union remains engaged in its efforts towards effectively addressing the serious humanitarian and refugee crisis in light of evolving needs, including by supporting those Member States that are facing the most serious challenges in terms of migratory flows in the Eastern Mediterranean," the document added.

    On October 9, Turkey launched cross-border security Operation Peace Spring against Kurdish-led militia, which Ankara sees as terrorists, and the Daesh* terror group. On Thursday, US Vice President Mike Pence said the United States and Turkey had reached an agreement to implement a 120-hour ceasefire in northeast Syria to allow the withdrawal of the Kurdish People's Protection Units' (YPG) forces.

    The European Council also supported a plan to introduce sanctions against Turkey for its drilling in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone.

    "The European Council also endorses the Council conclusions of 14 October 2019 on Turkeyʼs illegal drilling activities in Cyprusʼ Exclusive Economic Zone and reaffirms its solidarity with Cyprus," the council said in conclusions on the results of the first day of the EU leaders' summit in Brussels late on Thursday.

    The document referred to the decision made by the Council of the European Union on Monday to introduce a framework regime of restrictive measures against those involved in Turkey's drilling for hydrocarbons off Cyprus' coast. The legislative body then invited the European Commission to present proposals on the measures.

    *Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State/IS), a terrorist group banned in Russia and a wide number of other countries.

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    European Council, EU sanctions, sanctions, offensive, Kurds, Syria
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