India on Thursday said that it was “deeply concerned” about the ongoing military operation by Turkey on Kurdish forces in northern Syria.
“We are deeply concerned at the unilateral military offensive by Turkey in north-east Syria. Turkey’s actions can undermine stability in the region and the fight against terrorism,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
It said that Turkey’s action has the potential for causing humanitarian and civilian distress in the region.
India also called upon Turkey to exercise restraint and respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The MEA in its statement also urged the two nations to settle any issue peacefully through dialogue and discussion.
Turkey launched airstrikes, fired artillery and began a ground offensive against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria on Wednesday after US troops pulled back from the area, paving the way for an assault on forces that have long been allied with the United States.
Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish forces gathered condemnation across the world with several countries and global organizations considering concrete countermeasures, including the possibility of imposing sanctions until Turkish forces withdraw.
US President Donald Trump has said that he hoped Turkey would “act rationally”. Warning of actions against Turkey’s economy, Trump said that he would consider moves tougher than sanctions if Ankara does not do the operations in northern Syria in as humane a way as possible.
“I will wipe out (Turkey’s) his economy if that happens,” Trump had said when asked if he is concerned that the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will try to wipe out the Kurds.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that as many as 109 ‘terrorists’ were killed since Ankara launched an offensive into Syria, the Associated Press reported. He also said that the entire operation will restore the demographic structure in the area.
Meanwhile, Syrian officials have said that Ankara’s attack will weaken their ability to guard prisons holding Islamic State militants in the region. They have called Turkey’s actions as a ‘clear attempt’ to help ISIS.
(Inputs from agencies)
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