Germany calls on Turkey to refrain from incursion into northern Syria

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German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Wednesday called on Turkey to refrain from a ground invasion of northern Syria and military strikes in northern Iraq.

Turkish officials said on Monday its forces need just days to be ready for a ground incursion into northern Syria, which they have been attacking with long-range weapons and warplanes for days.

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“I have urgently appealed (Turkey) to refrain from measures that would further escalate violence - such as a potential ground invasion of northern Syria or military action in northern Iraq,” Baerbock said on the sidelines of a NATO meeting in Bucharest where her Turkish counterpart was also present.

Turkey’s bombardments of a Kurdish militia across the border in Syria come after months of threats by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of a new ground invasion against Kurdish forces, which he considers to be terrorists.

“International law applies of course when it comes to the protection against acts of terrorism,” Baerbock said.

Syria sees Turkey as an occupying force in its north and Damascus has said it would consider any new Turkish incursions to be “war crimes.”

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