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EU condemns Turkey's operation in Syria — statement

On October 9, Ankara announced the launch of Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria

BRUSSELS, October 18. /TASS/.The EU countries have condemned Turkey's operation in Syria, the European Council said in a statement released after the first day of the summit in Brussels.

"The EU condemns Turkey's unilateral military action in North East Syria which causes unacceptable human suffering, undermines the fight against Da'esh [Islamic State terrorist organization banned in Russia] and threatens heavily European security," the European Council said adding that "the European Council notes tonight's US-Turkey announcement on a pause for all military operations."

The European Council "again urges Turkey to end its military action, to withdraw its forces and to respect international humanitarian law," the statement said. "Following the Council conclusions of 14 October 2019, it [the European Council] recalls that Member States have decided to halt arms export licensing to Turkey," the statement added.

On Thursday, US Vice President Michael Pence told a press conference at the US Embassy in Ankara that Turkey agreed to pause its military operation in northeastern Syria for 120 hours. He added that Washington and Ankara have also agreed to establish a security zone on the Turkish-Syrian border.

On October 9, Ankara announced the launch of Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria, which began with airstrikes on Kurdish positions. The operation’s goal is to create a buffer zone along the Turkish border, where, according to Ankara, Syrian refugees residing in Turkey could return. Syria's SANA news agency slammed the operation as an act of aggression. The international community condemned Ankara’s actions.