Merkel urges Erdogan to end Syria offensive

Agence-France-Presse . Berlin | Published: 00:00, Oct 14,2019


German chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday urged president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to halt Turkey’s offensive in northern Syria immediately, warning it could spark further destabilisation of the region and a resurgence of the IS jihadist group.

In a phone call with Erdogan, Merkel ‘spoke in favour for an immediate end to the military operation’, the chancellor’s office said in a statement.

The operation threatens to drive large parts of the population from their homes, she said, noting that it would also risk ‘destabilisation of the region and lead to a resurgence of the IS’.

Germany and France on Saturday said they were suspending arms exports to Turkey over its offensive in Syria against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Turkey sees the YPG as a terrorist off-shoot of Kurdish rebels in its own territory, but Western powers used the Kurds as the main ground force against the Islamic State group in Syria.

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