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    Italian premier Giuseppe Conte gives a press conference at Chigi Palace in Rome Thursday evening, Aug. 8, 2019. Italy faced a government crisis Thursday as Interior Minister Matteo Salvini of the right-wing League party called for a new election, saying his party's coalition with the populist 5-Star Movement had collapsed over policy differences.

    Italian Prime Minister Says Ending Arms Sales to Ankara Not Enough, Further Action Needed

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    Turkey Launches 'Operation Peace Spring' in Northern Syria (80)
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has stated that banning arms sales to Turkey should only be the first step in order to make Ankara cancel its military operation in northeastern Syria.

    "It is an initiative that duty obliges [us] to make but it cannot satisfy us", Conte said, as quoted by Italy's ANSA news agency.

    He added that the endgame for Italy would be Ankara withdrawing its troops from Syria.

    "What could satisfy us would be to persuade Turkey to give up this operation. We will use all the initiatives that can achieve this outcome and Italy will lead the way in going in this direction", the prime minister stated.

    Earlier in the day, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio pledged to suspend future arms exports to Turkey and reconsider existing contracts.

    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 militias. Turkish troops have already seized the cities of Ras al-Ain and Tell Abiad.

    With the United States pulling its troops out of northern Syria and leaving its Kurdish allies on their own, the latter turned to Damascus for help. Syrian government troops have since been deployed to assist the Kurds in repelling Turkish advances.

    The international community has already voiced concerns that the Turkish incursion could worsen the humanitarian situation in the region and hamper efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis.

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    Turkey Launches 'Operation Peace Spring' in Northern Syria (80)
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    arms sales, Syria, military operation, Turkey, Italy
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