EU countries pledge to suspend arm exports to Turkey over Syria incursion
Member countries from the European Union on Monday pledged to suspend weapons exports to Turkey over its widely condemned military operations in Syria.
The move halts arms export licenses to Turke, but stops are short of a formal E.U.-wide arms embargo. In a statement, the member countries denounced Ankara's incursion into northern Syria, which has killed hundreds and displaced thousands.
"The E.U. condemns Turkey’s military action, which seriously undermines the stability and the security of the whole region, resulting in more civilians suffering and further displacement and severely hindering access to humanitarian assistance," the statement read. " Turkey’s security concerns in northeast Syria should be addressed through political and diplomatic means, not with military action, and in accordance with international humanitarian law."
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At a separate meeting of E.U. foreign ministers in Luxembourg, they agreed to draw up a list of possible sanctions over Turkey's "illegal" drilling activities off the coast of Cyprus.
Several countries -- including France, Sweden, Finland and Germany -- have already imposed arms embargoes against the Turkish regime led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Politico reported. Norway most recently suspended arms sales to the country.
On Tuesday, President Trump said he will impose sanctions on Turkey through an executive order.
Turkey's military operations began last week after the White House ordered U.S. troops to withdraw from their posts in northern Syria. The move represented a shift in alliances for the Kurds, who fought alongside American forces against the Islamic State but now feel abandoned.
Ankara's aim is to drive back Syrian Kurdish fighters from its border with Turkey. Turkish leaders consider the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) terrorists because of their links to an insurgency inside Turkey.
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Syrian officials said they would deploy troops to help Kurdish fighters along the border with Turkey.
Fox News' Frank Miles and Hollie McKay contributed to this report.