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    A Turkish army soldier mans an outpost near the town of Kilis, southeastern Turkey, adjacent to the wall the country had been constructing to boost security along its border with conflict-stricken Syria, background, Thursday, March 2, 2017

    From Urging Restraint to Threats of ‘Sanctions From Hell’: World Reacts to Turkey’s Syria Operation

    © AP Photo / Lefteris Pitarakis
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    Turkey Launches 'Operation Peace Spring' in Northern Syria (80)

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the start of a military operation dubbed ‘Operation Peace Spring’ in northern Syria on Wednesday, saying the campaign was meant to fight Kurdish militants and Daesh (ISIS)* and to ‘protect Syria’s territorial integrity’.

    • NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg offered a measured reaction to Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria on Wednesday, saying Ankara has “legitimate security concerns” in Syria and that it has faced “horrendous terrorist attacks” in the past and hosts “millions of Syrian refugees.” Stoltenberg said NATO counts on Turkey “to act with restraint and ensure that any action it may take in northern Syria is proportionate and measured.”
    • Berlin blasted the operation, and called for its immediate halt. “We strongly condemn Turkey’s offensive in northeastern Syria. Turkey runs the risk of destabilising the region and reinforcing the positions of [Daesh]. We urge Turkey to halt the offensive and safeguard its security interests by peaceful means,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas wrote in a tweet.
    • France similarly voiced “strong” condemnation of the operation, with European Affairs Minister Amelie de Montchalin saying Paris, Berlin and London were working on a joint statement would be “extremely clear on the fact that we very strongly condemn” the campaign.
    • Italian Prime Minister also criticised Turkey's actions, saying they risked destabilising the region and harming civilians.
    A Turkish army officer guides a comrade driving a tank to its new position, after was uploaded from a truck, on the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019
    © AP Photo / Lefteris Pitarakis
    A Turkish army officer guides a comrade driving a tank to its new position, after was uploaded from a truck, on the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019
    • Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Block summoned Turkey’s ambassador to the Netherlands, issuing a statement saying Amsterdam “condemns the Turkish offensive in northeast Syria,” and calling on Ankara “not to continue on the path they’re going down.”
    • Turkey’s Danish allies also voiced their ‘deep concern’ with the Syria operation, with Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod tweeting that in his view, “this is a regrettable and wrong decision, which can have serious consequences for civilians and the fight against ISIL. Turkey must show restraint. Denmark is in close contact with allies on the matter.”
    • A bipartisan group of US senators announced Wednesday that they were finalising a bill which would introduce “sanctions from hell” against Turkey. Bill cosponsor Chris Van Hollen said Turkey would have to “pay a heavy price for attacking our Syrian Kurdish partners.” Senator Lindsey Graham, another of the bill’s supprters, earlier warned that Ankara would face “wide, deep, and devastating sanctions” if it attacked the Kurds.
    • European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker similarly called on Turkey to stop the operation, and to show restraint. “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.
    • Syria itself has yet to comment on the operation, but several hours before it started, the foreign ministry released a statement saying Damascus “strongly condemns irresponsible statements and aggressive intentions of the Turkish regime,” and accusing Ankara of a “disgraceful breach of international law and UN resolutions that respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
    • Before the incursion began, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on Damascus and Kurdish forces to engage in dialogue to resolve issues on the Syria-Turkish border, while Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on US troops to withdraw, for Kurdish forces to support the Syrian government army, and for Turkey to show restraint.
    Turkish troops in Syria
    © Sputnik / Hikmet Durgun
    Turkish troops in Syria

    * A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.

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


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