Published: Sun, October 13, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

China urges 'respect' of Syria sovereignty as Turkey attacks

China urges 'respect' of Syria sovereignty as Turkey attacks

Turkey had threatened to launch a military operation against the Syrian Kurdish forces in a bid to claim Syrian territory.

Turkey's defence ministry said Thursday morning that they had struck 181 targets east of the Euphrates River since the incursion started.

The Turkish lira weakened against the dollar on Thursday as investors fretted about negative worldwide reaction to a ground operation launched by Turkish troops against a Kurdish militia in northeast Syria overnight.

But he rejected criticism from fellow Republicans over his decision to pull US troops out of northern Syria, and dismissed worries that captured Islamic State fighters might escape in the chaos of a Turkish attack.

It halted operations against Islamic State because of the Turkish offensive, two US officials and a Kurdish source said.

Taking aim at the European Union and Arab powers Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which have voiced opposition to the operation, Turkish President Tayip Erdogan said those objecting to Turkey's actions were "not honest".

Chris Van Hollen and Lindsey Graham announced an outline to impose sanctions against Turkey for attacking Kurdish forces in Syria.

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok, after summoning the country's Turkish ambassador, said the Netherlands "condemns" Turkey's offensive and called on Turkish officials to "not to continue on the path they are going down", Reuters reported.

Meanwhile Iran, a close ally of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's regime, called Thursday for "an immediate halt" to the offensive and demanded Turkish forces withdraw.

Donald Trump has defended his decision to withdraw United States troops from northern Syria and abandon America's Kurdish allies to a Turkish invasion because "they didn't help us with Normandy".

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He also said that Turkey had a "legitimate security concern" and "a terrorist threat to their south".

Speaking to lawmakers from his Justice and Development Party in Ankara on October 10, Erdogan threatened to "open the gates" for Syrian refugees in his country to Europe, telling the European Union, "You can not label our operation as an invasion".

President Donald Trump has also downplayed the alliance with the Kurds, 11,000 of whom died fighting to help the USA mission against ISIS.

"Turkey has an obligation under global humanitarian law to take all possible measures to protect civilians and to ensure they have access to humanitarian aid".

"That's just false", he said, in an interview with PBS channel, but did not elaborate other than to say that Turkey has a "legitimate security concern".

Meanwhile, homes in Turkey's border town of Ceylanpinar were hit by rocket shells launched from within Syria.

President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw USA troops effectively triggered the Turkish incursion.

Syrian government allies Russian Federation and Iran both called for an end to the offensive.

The two operations were in line with the country's right to self-defense under worldwide law, UN Security Council resolutions, especially no. 1624 (2005), 2170 (2014) and 2178 (2014), and the right to self-defense under the Article 51 of UN Charter, while being respectful of Syria's territorial integrity.

Later, the U.S. State Department official said the United States would penalize Turkey if it engages in any "inhumane and disproportionate" moves against civilians.

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