BFF-35 Arms embargoes won’t stop Turkey’s Syria operation: Erdogan

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SYRIA-CONFLICT-TURKEY-KURDS-SANCTIONS

Arms embargoes won’t stop Turkey’s Syria operation: Erdogan

ISTANBUL, Oct 13, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said
Sunday that threats of sanctions and arms embargoes by Western powers would
not stop Turkey’s military offensive against Kurdish militants in Syria.

“After we launched our operation, we have faced threats like economic
sanctions and embargoes on weapons sales. Those who think they can make
Turkey turn back with these threats are gravely mistaken,” Erdogan said in a
televised speech.

France and Germany said Saturday that they were suspending arms exports to
Turkey over its offensive in Syria against the Kurdish People’s Protection
Units (YPG).

Turkey sees the YPG as a terrorist off-shoot of Kurdish rebels in its own
territory, but Western powers used the Kurds as the main ground force against
the Islamic State group.

Erdogan said he spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel by phone on
Wednesday and raised the issue of the arms embargo.

“I told her to explain it to me. Are we really allies at the heart of
NATO, or has the terrorist group (the YPG) been accepted into NATO without my
being informed?” he said. He also rejected the idea of any mediation between
Turkey and the YPG.

“When did you see a state sit at the same table with a terror group?” he
said.

Erdogan said the Turkish military and its Syrian proxies now controlled
the border town of Ras al-Ain, while Tal Abyad was being besieged from two
directions.

BSS/AFP/BZC/2012HRS