Ankara/Paris/Tehran: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened the European Union (EU) saying, ‘The military operation Turkey has undertaken in Syria is for preserving the integrity of our nation. However, we will open the gates to Europe for 3.6 million Syrian immigrants if the European nations term it an invasion on Syria.’ The Turkish operation is nevertheless is receiving severe international criticism.
A significant number of Syrian civilians were reportedly killed in the Turkish military invasion on Syria against the Kurds and the Syrian rebels. Its repercussions are being felt across the globe. France has summoned the Turkish Ambassador and warned Turkey to stop the military action immediately. On the other hand, the Italian Foreign Minister has criticised the Turkish move in Syria as being ‘completely unacceptable’ stating it would only help bolster the terrorists.
Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has also expressed concerns over the unilateral Turkish action and cautioned against the move saying it would only contribute towards strengthening the terrorist outfit ISIS. Moreover, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have voiced fears over Turkey’s attacks on Syria being a hazardous development for the Middle East. The UAE condemned the move terming it to have threatened the sovereignty of its Arab ally, Syria. Additionally, the Arab League has called for an urgent meeting on Saturday to discuss the issue.
Iran is currently in discussions with Turkey on the ceasefire in Syria and has asked Turkey to stop the military operation immediately. The Iranian Foreign Ministry has warned against a significant humanitarian crisis developing in Syria if Turkey did not stop the invasion. Nevertheless, Turkey is firm on its action. President Erdogan, on the contrary, has threatened Europe, which has advised against the Syrian attack, that he would open the gates for the Syrian immigrants. The Turkish President had issued similar threats to the EU, even in the past.
Turkey’s action had put the US soldiers at risk, and President Trump, therefore, withdrew the troops from Syria. Although the US withdrew its forces from Syria, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has reminded Turkey that the United States had not permitted them to invade the nation. Also, with the statement, Pompeo clarified that the United States did not support the Turkish action in northern Syria in any way.