22:01 GMT20 February 2020
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    Turkey Launches 'Operation Peace Spring' in Northern Syria (80)

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said on Monday that she would propose to the NATO member states to create an internationally-controlled safe zone, with the involvement of Turkey and Russia, in northern Syria, which is currently subjected to the Turkish military operation.

    The minister told the DPA news agency that the situation in northern Syria was not in line with the EU and German security interests. She also believes that both Brussels and Berlin took a rather passive stance on the Turkish offensive.

    "[The solution may envisage] creation of a safe zone, controlled by the international forces, with the involvement of Turkey and Russia to de-escalate the situation, as well as to continue the fight against terror of the Islamic State terrorist organization [banned in Russia] and to push forward constitutional process [in Syria], which has just started," Kramp-Karrenbauer said.

    She pointed out that the German initiative on creation of the internationally-controlled safe zone in northern Syria had been supported by Chancellor Angela Merkel and would be presented to the NATO member states at the defence ministers’ meeting that will take place in Brussels from 24-25 October.

    Turkey launched an offensive in northern Syria on 9 October in a bid to create a "safe zone" along the border that would be free of Kurdish militia, viewed by Ankara as terrorists. The offensive has faced widespread condemnation from across the globe. Merkel announced an embargo on weapons exports to Turkey because of the latter’s operation.

    On Thursday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and US Vice President Mike Pence reached an agreement on a 120-hour ceasefire in northern Syria to allow the withdrawal of Kurdish militia from the area. However, both Ankara and the Kurds have accused each other of violating the truce.

    Turkey Launches 'Operation Peace Spring' in Northern Syria (80)


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