France suspends exports to Turkey of "war material likely to be used" in Syria

This decision, already taken by the Netherlands and Germany, has an "immediate effect," said Saturday evening the French ministries of armies and foreign affairs.

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Syrian rebel fighters backed by Turkey near the border town of Tel Abyad, Syria, October 12, 2019.
Syrian rebel fighters backed by Turkey near the border town of Tel Abyad, Syria, October 12, 2019. KHALIL ASHAWI / REUTERS

After the Netherlands and Germany, France. Paris decided to "Suspend any plans for the export to Turkey of war material likely to be used as part of the offensive in Turkey", announced on Saturday, October 12, the French ministries of armies and foreign affairs.

"This decision is of immediate effect"said the two departments in a statement. "The EU Foreign Affairs Council (European Union), will meet on 14 October in Luxembourg, will be an opportunity to coordinate a European approach in this direction ".

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"France reiterates its firm condemnation of Turkey's unilateral offensive in northeastern Syria"continues the text. This one "Calls into question the security and stabilization efforts of the global coalition against Daesh (Arabic acronym of the Islamic State group, Ed). It has important humanitarian consequences. It therefore undermines the safety of Europeans ". "France calls for a quick meeting of the Coalition against Daesh to discuss the continuation of the coalition's efforts in this context"concludes the statement.

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"It only strengthens us"

A similar suspension of arms sales in Ankara was announced Friday and Saturday by the Dutch and German governments. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in the daily newspaper Bild to be released Sunday, October 13, that Berlin stopped its delivery to Turkey of arms "That could be used in northeastern Syria" against the Kurds, without specifying the type of armaments concerned nor their amount.

In response to the Berlin decision, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu assured German radio Deutsche Welle that the offensive in northern Syria was a "Vital question" and "A question of national security, a question of survival".

"No matter what everyone else does, whether it's an arms embargo or something else, it just reinforces us", he added. "Even if our allies support the terrorist organization, even if we are alone, even if an embargo is imposed, whatever they do, our struggle is directed against the terrorist organization", the Syrian Kurdish militia of the People's Protection Units (YPG), he hammered.

Turkey on Wednesday launched an offensive in northern Syria against a Kurdish militia, two days after the United States withdrew US military personnel deployed in parts of northern Syria just on the border with Turkey.

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