The member states of the European Union have again called on Turkey to immediately stop the offensive in northern Syria. "The EU condemns the military action," says the statement. The offensive endangers the stability and security of the entire region and leads to an even greater suffering of civilians and further evictions.
Nevertheless, the EU does not want to impose a general arms embargo on Turkey for the time being. A statement on the Turkish military offensive adopted by foreign ministers on Monday refers only to the decisions of countries such as Germany and France to stop authorizing any arms exports that can be used in the conflict. Member States committed to strong national positions, they say.
Thus, the decision as to whether or not to impose an arms embargo on Ankara remains with the national governments. The foreign ministers announced that a working group would meet this week to "coordinate and review Member States' views on this issue".
Shortly before, the Foreign Office in Berlin had expressed doubts that the Turkish military offensive in northern Syria is in conformity with international law. "As things stand, we can not see that the current situation in Syria would legitimize a military intervention directed against Kurdish groups there under international law," said a foreign spokesman. Turkey, whatever it undertakes, must "move within what is necessary and proportionate".
Turkey emphasizes the legality of the attacks
Supreme protection would have "the observance of international humanitarian law and the protection of life and limb of the civilian population," said the spokesman for the Foreign Office.
Turkey cites its security interests in its actions in northern Syria and stresses the legality of the attacks. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said: "In the assessment of this offensive and whether it is suitable, security concerns, which Turkey has legitimately, to dispel, that is the disagreement." That is why Germany, like other European governments, comes to the conclusion that Turkey should be asked to end this operation.
Seibert added, "We do not see how further destabilization of this region, such as triggering new refugee flows, such as the escalating poor humanitarian situation of the affected people in the region, can reduce the security concerns."