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Friday, 15 November 2019

EU foreign ministers condemn Turkish invasion of Syria

AP , Monday 14 Oct 2019
Turkish invasion
Mourners attend a funeral, for Kurdish political leader Hevrin Khalaf and others including civilians and Kurdish fighters, in the northeastern Syrian Kurdish town of Derik, known as al-Malikiyah in Arabic, on October 13, 2019. AFP
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European Union leaders are looking to broaden an arms embargo against NATO ally Turkey to protest its offensive against Kurdish forces in neighboring Syria.

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said Monday ``it is against international law to invade a neighboring country and Turkey should as every other country abide by international law.''

Blok was speaking at the EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg.

Germany, France and the Netherlands have already suspended arms sales to Turkey.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that he also wanted a ``a strong position on the export of arms to Turkey.''

But Le Drian also called on the United States ``above all'' to call for a meeting of the international coalition against the Islamic State group, over alarm that the chaos caused by the Turkish offensive was reviving the threat of IS.

Syria's Kurds were key allies in a U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group.

Syria's state news agency says government forces have entered the northern town of Tal Tamr that is close to Turkey's border.

SANA said Monday morning that the Syrian army moved into the area to ``confront the Turkish aggression,'' without giving further details.

The report says residents of Tal Tamr that is about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Turkish border welcomed the troops.

It did not say from which area the Syrian army marched toward the town.

The move toward Tal Tamr came a day after Syria's Kurds said Syrian government forces agreed to help them fend off Turkey's invasion _ a major shift in alliances that came after President Donald Trump ordered all U.S. troops withdrawn from the northern border area amid the rapidly deepening chaos.

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