After launching a military offensive against the Kurds in Northern Syria, Turkey has taken the spotlight with nations around the world calling on Turkey to cease its operations. Taking the lead, the European Union and the USA have issued firm signals against the continuation of military operations in the region which could not only lead to regional instability but are also being seen as Turkeys attempts to subjugate Kurdish ethnic minorities in the region and revive the Islamic State terrorists.
Major partners of the European Union, Germany and France on Saturday also expressed their concern regarding the developments and said that they would not export any more export weapons to Turkey that could be deployed in the country’s military offensive in Syria.
Speaking to Bild am Sonntag, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that “Against the backdrop of the Turkish military offensive in north-eastern Syria, the federal government will not issue new permits for all armaments that could be used by Turkey in Syria.”
Reiterating their opposition to the military operations by Turkey, France also announced similar measures to register their view. “France has decided to suspend all export projects of armaments to Turkey that could be deployed as part of the offensive in Syria,…This decision takes effect immediately.” the French government said in a statement.
Turkey’s military action has created a fresh humanitarian crisis in Syria. With reports suggesting the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights stating, “Since Wednesday, more than 60,000 people have fled the border areas. Therefore, Turkey’s act of invading North-east Syria and military action against the Kurdish fighters clearly leaves lakhs of Syrians at the risk of another round of displacement.”
A High Representative has meanwhile issued a statement on behalf of the European Union on the ongoing developments in North-east Syria. It has stated, “The EU calls upon Turkey to cease the unilateral military action. Renewed armed hostilities in the north-east will further undermine the stability of the whole region, exacerbate civilian suffering and provoke further displacements.”
US President Trump had also tweeted of actions against Turkey if the military operations are not ceased and proposed to hit Turkey “hard financially & with sanctions if they don’t play by the rules.”
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also indicated towards USA’s plan to impose financial sanctions on Turkey and said that President Donald Trump had authorized U.S. officials to draft “very significant” sanctions against Turkey.
“We are putting financial institutions on notice that they should be careful and that there could be sanctions,…These are very powerful sanctions. We hope we don’t have to use them, but we can shut down the Turkish economy if we need to,” Mnuchin said. If these sanctions are executed they could have a significant impact on the already struggling Turkish economy, with Turkish lira losing nearly 30% of its value last year, has shed more than 3% so far this week.
Turkey has also been under fire from India majorly for its support of terror-sponsoring regime in Pakistan and also now after launching military strikes in North-Eastern Syria. In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said, “We are deeply concerned at the unilateral military offensive by Turkey in north-east Syria.”
Earlier reports had also indicated towards a review of an FSS project with an estimated cost of $2.3 billion which has been undertaken by Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) in collaboration with Turkish M/s Anadolu Shipyard is expected to be put on a hold by the Indian government.
It must also be noted that Turkey is fighting Kurds led by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) within its own territory and sees an autonomous Kurdish government in the region of north-east Syria and its militias People’s Protection Units (YPG) as a security threat for itself. Erdogan has also threatened the European Union that he would send 3 million Syrian refugees to Europe if they oppose his mission to invade Syria, counter Kurdish ‘terrorism’ and settle Syrian refugees currently staying in camps in Turkey.
Earlier, during the UNGA session last month, Turkish President Erdogan had proposed an expanded “safe zone” in northern in line with his attempts to position himself as the “messiah” of the Muslim populations across the world and now his atrocities against Kurds and bizarre stance of looking at the Kurd fighters in Syria as terrorists gives rise to the very real dangers of Syria becoming an IS dominated zone all over again. With its offensive in Syria, Turkey could be slapped with more sanctions that could hurt its economy significantly.