European, US lawmakers jointly condemn Turkish military operation

Smoke rising from the Syrian border town of Ras al-Ain along the border in Syria against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) that has provoked an international outcry and left dozens of civilians and fighters dead. (AFP)

European and US lawmakers united on Friday in condemnation of Turkey’s military operation on the northeastern region of Syria and President Donald Trump’s troop withdrawal from the country, warning it would trigger a “resurgence of terrorism.”

The chairs of foreign affairs committees in the British, French, German, and European parliaments and the US House of Representatives assailed the Turkish operation as a “military aggression” and violation of international law.

“We... jointly condemn in the strongest terms the Turkish military offensive in northeastern Syria,” said the lawmakers who include Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the British House of Commons, and Eliot Engel who heads the US House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Norbert Rottgen of the German Bundestag, Marielle de Sarnez of the French National Assembly, and the European Parliament’s David McAllister also signed on.

Representing voices across the political spectrum, they said they “unite across parties and nationalities to demonstrate our commitment to our common values.”

The lawmakers directly criticized Trump for his sudden withdrawal of US forces, saying they “deeply regret” the desertion of Kurdish forces who were partners in the fight against ISIS extremists.

“We consider the abandonment of the Syrian Kurds to be wrong,” the lawmakers said, adding that such global coalition partners “massively contributed to the successful yet unfinished fight against (ISIS) in Syria and incurred heavy losses by doing so.”

The withdrawal “marks another landmark in the change of American foreign policy in the Near and Middle East,” they said, warning that the turmoil caused by Turkey’s offensive “may contribute to a resurgence of terrorism” and undermines peacekeeping efforts.

The lawmakers also called on the European Union to launch a conflict resolution effort.

The statement came as a US-brokered ceasefire between Turkish and Kurdish forces appeared to crumble, with Turkish air strikes and mortar fire by its Syrian proxies killing 14 civilians, according to a war monitor.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:56 - GMT 06:56
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