In a statement in the European Parliament Plenary today, S&D vice-president Kati Piri called for an immediate EU response in reaction to the start of the Turkish military operation in Northern Syria.

“On Sunday night, US President Trump gave President Erdoğan a carte blanche to invade North-East Syria - which Turkey just did today. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have always been the international community’s closest ally in the fight against the Islamic State. They are the ones who fought the battle on the ground. More than 10.000 gave their lives for the peace and security of us all. And for what if now the jihadists will use Turkey’s invasion to reorganise and continue their horrific violence in Syria and across the world?

“Turkey claims it wants to establish a so-called ‘safe zone’. What they are creating is a war zone. Ankara’s security concerns cannot and will not be solved by force. The S&Ds strongly condemn this illegal incursion. We urge the High Representative to use all instruments and punitive measures at her disposal to put pressure on Turkey to immediately start respecting international and humanitarian law and to guarantee the security of the people in North-East Syria.

“After all the killings, massive displacement and horrors of Islamic State era, the citizens of North-East Syria are now facing a new outburst of violence, and on top of that, an abandonment by their international allies. After the huge sacrifices they have made for our security, backstabbing our Kurdish allies is simply not an option.”

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