Turkish aggression threatens regional peace: Saudi Arabia

Syrian government forces arrive in the town of Tal Tamr, not far from the flashpoint Kurdish Syrian town of Ras Al-Ain on the border with Turkey, which has been a key target of Turkish forces and their proxies since they launched their military assault, on Tuesday. — AFP

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia on Tuesday led the world condemnation of the aggression launched by Turkey against the northeastern regions of Syria. The Saudi Cabinet at its weekly meeting said the aggression threatens regional peace and security, and will have negative repercussions on the security and stability of the region.

The Cabinet referred to the demand made by the emergency meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Arab League that called upon the UN Security Council to take necessary measures to stop the Turkish aggression, terming it as a clear violation of the principles of the UN Charter and Security Council resolutions and called for preserving the unity and independence of Syria.

The UN Security Council will convene on Wednesday to discuss Turkey's military incursion, diplomats said, with Ankara showing no sign of relenting in its assault on the Kurds.

This session was requested by European countries with seats on the 15-member council, the diplomats said Tuesday.

At a first meeting last Thursday, the council was divided, and only the European members issued a statement calling for an end to the Turkish offensive.

On Friday, Russia and China blocked a US-sponsored text that also called for an end to the assault.

The United States is calling in increasingly firm language for an end to the incursion, and announced sanctions against Turkey on Monday.

China on Tuesday also called on Turkey to halt its military operation and "return to the correct way of political resolution."

Britain said it was suspending military exports to Turkey, as it carries out a review of arms sales to its NATO ally.

"We will keep our defense exports to Turkey under very careful and continual review," Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement to parliament.

"No further export licenses to Turkey for items which might be used in military operations in Syria will be granted while we conduct that review."

Ankara's assault against Kurdish forces launched last week has prompted a chorus of international condemnation. Raab said it had "seriously undermined the security and stability of the region".

"This is not the action we expected from an ally, it is reckless, counterproductive, it plays straight into the hands of Russia and the Assad regime," he told lawmakers.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg discussed the volatile situation with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday.

Speaking after the meeting, Stoltenberg said the arms suspensions showed "many Nato allies are very critical and are condemning the military operation in northern Syria".

Britain's halting of military sales to Turkey follows similar moves by key European and NATO allies, including Germany — one of Ankara's main arms suppliers — and France. — Agencies