Politics 12:14 10/10/2019 Region

Juncker: EU won’t pay for Turkey’s ‘safe zone’

The EU on Wednesday, 9 October, demanded Turkey halt its military operation against Kurdish militants in northern Syria, telling Ankara the bloc would not pay for any so-called “safe zone” that might be created, EURACTIV reported.

Turkish troops and their Syrian rebel allies attacked Kurdish militia in northeast Syria on Wednesday, pounding them with air strikes and artillery before starting a cross-border ground operation that could transform an eight-year-old war.

The assault began days after US President Donald Trump pulled American troops out of the way, prompting denunciations from senior members of his own Republican Party who say he abandoned the Syrian Kurds, loyal allies of Washington.

Turkish media reported troops entering Syria at four points, two of them close to the Syrian town of Tel Abyad and two close to Ras al Ain further east.

Thousands of people fled Ras al Ain towards Hasaka province, held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The Turkish air strikes killed at least five civilians and three fighters from the SDF and wounded dozens of civilians, the SDF said.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told the European Parliament he recognised Turkey had “security concerns” along the border. But he warned the military action would not lead to a “good result”, saying a political solution was the only way to end the Syrian conflict.

“I call on Turkey as well as the other actors to act with restraint and to stop operations already, as we are speaking, under way,” Juncker said.

“I have to say if the Turkish plan involves the creation of a so-called safe zone, don’t expect the European Union to pay for any of it.”

Source Panorama.am
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