European Union calls on Turkey to halt military operation in Syria

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European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker waits for the arrival of EU leaders ahead of an informal EU summit on migration at the EU commission in Brussels on June 24, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / POOL AND AFP PHOTO / YVES HERMAN

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday called on Turkey to show restraint and stop its military operation in northeast Syria, Reuters reported.

“Turkey has security concerns at its border with Syria that we must understand. However, I call on Turkey, as well as other actors, to act with restraint,” Juncker told the European Parliament.

“If the plan involves the creation of a so-called safe zone, don’t expect the EU to pay for any of it.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Wednesday that Operation Peace Spring, a Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) military operation east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria, had been launched.

The operation came after the United States announced it was withdrawing its troops from the region, effectively abandoning the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), its main ally in the battle against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) armed group.

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