EU calls for more restraint from Turkey on Syria

The European Union’s diplomatic chief, Federica Mogherini, on Friday called on Turkey to show “restraint” in its military actions in the northwest of Syria, echoing a similar call by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

What concerns the EU is that the target of the operations should continue to be ISIS, Mogherini said at a meeting of foreign ministers of the EU and the Western Balkans in Sofia. Turkish Minister for European Affairs, Omer Celik, was also participating in the meeting.

Mogherini said the EU had reiterated this position to the Turkish authorities on Friday, adding that she joined Tillerson’s call for them to “demonstrate restraint in their military actions”.

The US Secretary of State had again called on Turkey, during a visit to Ankara, to exercise restraint in its offensive against the Kurdish Union for the Protection of the People (YPG) militia in the Afrine enclave in northwest Syria. Ankara has been carrying out this offensive, codenamed “Olive branch” since the 20th of January.

However, Tillerson stressed that the United States and Turkey wished to move ahead together to overcome their current crisis in Syria.

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