China tough on offensive on northern Syria by Turkey, call for halt

Published: Oct 15, 2019, 10:09 am IST
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Beijing calls on Ankara to stop its military operation in northern Syria and return to diplomacy to resolve the issues around its security concerns, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

“China opposes the use of force in international relations. We believe that all sides should fully observe the principles and objectives of the UN Charter, as well as the norms of international relations, and seek ways for a political and diplomatic settlement of the issue within the framework of the international law,” the ministry’s spokesman, Geng Shuang, told a briefing.

The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, the diplomat says, therefore should be respected.”We urge Turkey to cease hostilities and return to the right path of political settlement,” he added.

Turkey launched an offensive in northern Syria on October 9 in a bid to create a “safe zone” along the border that would be free of Kurdish militias, whom it considers an extension of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (banned by Ankara). Turkish troops have already claimed control over the cities of Ras al-Ain and Tell Abiad.

As the United States has started pulling its troops out of the areas of the Turkish offensive, leaving the allied Kurds on their own, the latter have turned to Damascus for help. The government troops have since been deployed to the north to assist them in repelling the Turkish offensive.

The international community has already voiced concerns that the Turkish incursion could worsen the humanitarian situation in the region and hamper the efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis. (UNI)