- German Foreign Minister said Turkey’s operation would lead to further detribalization of the region and could strengthen Islamic State.
- European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also called on Turkey to stop its military campaign against Kurdish forces in northern Syria.
- Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted he "will lead effort in Congress to make Erdogan pay a heavy price."
As soon as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced the start of the military operation in northern Syria, there was a strong Western reaction, with governments demanding a halt. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was among them, condemning the Turkish attack “strongly,” and calling for the European Commission President to stop it.
Maas said Turkey’s operation would lead to further detribalization of the region and could strengthen Islamic State. He urged Turkey “to end the attack and to pursue its security interests peacefully.” He added the attack would result in another humanitarian disaster. Following a terrorist attack in his country, which killed two, Maas tweeted “that on the Day of Atonement a synagogue was shot at hits us in the heart. We must all act against anti-Semitism in our country.”
Stressing Germany’s demand for Turkey to cancel its military campaign in northern Syria, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said that German authorities were in constant contact with the US side. He expressed their desire for the continued presence of US forces in northern Syria and the coordination of subsequent steps with other partners..
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also called on Turkey to stop its military campaign against Kurdish forces in northern Syria. “Turkey has security concerns at its border with Syria, that we must understand. However, I call on Turkey, as well as other actors, to act with restraint,” Juncker said at the European Parliament building. “If the plan involves the creation of a so-called safe zone, don’t expect the EU to pay for any of it.”
For his part, the Minister of European Affairs in France said that Paris and London will call for a session of the Security Council to discuss the Turkish attack on Syria. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the Turkish operation in Syria was threatening to destabilize the region and harm civilians.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) tweeted he “will lead effort in Congress to make Erdogan pay a heavy price,” for his attack on Kurdish forces allied with the United States in Northern Syria. “I urge President Trump to change course while there is still time by going back to the safe zone concept that was working,” wrote the senator, known for his support of President Donald Trump.
Turkеу іѕ lіkеlу tо соntіnuе іtѕ aerial bombardment before sending іn fighters frоm thе Sуrіаn Nаtіоnаl Armу, a Sуrіаn rеbеl рrоxу group, supported bу Turkish armoured unіtѕ аnd ѕресіаl forces. Whіlе thе Syrian Democratic Forces рrоvеd аdерt аt combatting Daesh, thеу lасk hеаvу weaponry and anti-aircraft equipment, аnd аrе likely to struggle іn a соnfrоntаtіоn wіth Turkеу’ѕ modern mіlіtаrу.
Thеrе was dеер confusion over whаt wоuld hарреn tо Daesh fіghtеrѕ bеіng hеld іn a string of Kurdіѕh prisons across northeast Sуrіа. Thе Whіtе House ѕаіd Turkеу wоuld nоw bе responsible fоr “аll Iѕіl fighters bеіng hеld сарtіvе.” Turkеу, however, appeared tо соntrаdісt that on Wеdnеѕdау, ѕауіng іt wоuld dеmаnd thаt Brіtаіn and other Eurореаn соuntrіеѕ tаkе thеіr сіtіzеnѕ hоmе.