German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Oct. 17 that Germany would not deliver any weapons to Turkey under current circumstances and added that she had urged Turkey several times to end its military operation in northern Syria.
“In recent days I have strongly urged Turkey to end its military operation against the Kurdish military and I’m stressing that again now,” Merkel told Germany’s lower house of parliament, referring to Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
“It’s a humanitarian drama with huge geopolitical effects so Germany will not deliver any weapons to Turkey under the current conditions,” she added.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces before a Turkish offensive into northern Syria last week has shattered the relative calm there and he has been accused of abandoning Kurdish militia who helped the United States fight ISIS militants in the region.
Turkey launched its offensive on Oct. 9 in order to clear the area from militants of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which is the Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and to establish a “safe zone” in order for the return of Syrian refugees.
Turkey, which currently hosts over 3.6 million Syrian refugees, deems the PKK a terrorist organization.
The country has been battling the group, which is also accepted as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the European Union, for more than 30 years.
During her speech, Merkel urged dialogue between the sides to resolve the current situation in Turkish-Syrian border.
“We believe that Turkey’s security interests in its Syrian border can only be truly protected via diplomatic means and not through military means,” she said.