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Syrian Kurds call on EU, NATO to impose sanctions against Turkey -- spokesperson

European Union member states should recall their ambassadors from Ankara, while NATO should challenge Turkey's membership in the alliance in light of its military operation in Syria, Co-chairperson of the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Council Ilham Ahmed told TASS that she had arrived in Brussels to voice this position.

Ahmed co-chairs an autonomous administration created by Kurds in northeastern Syria. The council is a political wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) armed coalition.

"We are asking EU states to recall their ambassadors from Ankara as a sanction against Turkey for its actions. The EU members should freeze diplomatic relations with Turkey. We are calling for an urgent intervention in the situation," she said, pointing out that a number of meetings with EU leaders has already been scheduled.

Moreover, she said that Turkey's North Atlantic Alliance membership should be called into question. "Turkey is a NATO member but we believe it does not serve NATO and does not act in its framework. We are urging NATO to question Turkey's membership," the Kurdish envoy emphasized.

She also underlined that Turkey's actions in Syria should be viewed by the international community as "a state attacking another state." "This attack endangers lives of 5 million people. It can lead to a terrible humanitarian crisis," Ahmed added. "The result of this aggression will negatively affect the fight against terrorism, control over Daesh (Arabic for ISIS -TASS) will be lost."

According to the envoy, "the whole region is currently under the attack of Turkish forces." "Turkey's main goal is to expand its borders and occupy Syrian territories," she stressed.

Turkish operation

The Turkish Ministry of National Defense announced Thursday that the Turkish Armed Forces had struck 181 "facilities of terrorists" (Ankara calls SDF fighters terrorists) in the first hours of a new trans-border operation in Syria dubbed Peace Spring. The Syrian SANA news agency branded the operation as aggression, while the international community condemned Ankara's actions. According to the agency, at least eight civilians, including three children, were killed in the bombings and shelling conducted by Turkish forces in the town of Qamishli and its neighborhoods, while 14 more people were wounded. The reports on injuries were also coming from the communities of Al-Darbasiyah and Meshrefah in the border region of Ras al-Ayn entered by Turkish troops.

The SDF coalition overview says that three people in its ranks were killed in the last 24 hours. Kurdish fighters claim to have destroyed four Turkish tanks and killed five soldiers.

[Source: Tass, Brussels, 10Oct19]

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