Britain, Spain join major powers in suspending military exports to Turkey

Cheryl Sanders
October 20, 2019

"The UK government takes its arms export control responsibilities very seriously and in this case, of course, we will keep our defense exports to Turkey under very careful and continual review", Raab told Parliament.

Britain's halting of military sales to Turkey follows similar moves by key European and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, including Germany - one of Ankara's main arms suppliers - and France.

In this photo taken from the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Ceylanpinar, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, smoke and dust billows from targets in Ras al-Ayn, Syria, caused by bombardment by Turkish forces, October 15, 2019.

Meanwhile, Qatar defended its close ally Turkey's controversial operation against Kurdish forces in northern Syria on Tuesday, saying Ankara had acted against an "imminent threat".

Britain and Spain have joined other major powers in suspending military exports to Turkey following its incursion into northeastern Syria. Italy was the top arms exporter to Turkey previous year.

Sweden also announced it had halted exports of military equipment.

Trump's withdrawal of troops goes against the recommendation of his top strategists who argued that American troops are needed in northern Syria to provide a counterweight to Iran and Russian Federation and to continue operations against the Islamic State.

On the issue of Turkey's military action in northern Syria, there has been a "big difference" between the strong friends China and Pakistan, where China has asked Ankara to stop the action against Kurdish forces, while Pakistan has supported this action.

In the meantime, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed concern about the Turkish military operation.

6 that President Trump spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and indicated that America would remove roughly 1000 troops from northern Syria preceding any Turkish intervention in the area. Turkey launched an attack against the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Unit last week.

Other reports by iNewsToday