October 17, 2019 / 7:55 AM / a month ago

I've urged Turkey to end its operation in northern Syria, Merkel says

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to members of Germany's lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany October 17, 2019 REUTERS/Michele Tantussi

BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that Germany would not deliver any weapons to Turkey under current circumstances and added that she had urged Turkey several times to end its military operation in northern Syria.

“In recent days I have strongly urged Turkey ... to end its military operation against the Kurdish military and I’m stressing that again now,” Merkel told Germany’s lower house of parliament.

“It’s a humanitarian drama with huge geopolitical effects so Germany will not deliver any weapons to Turkey under the current conditions,” she added.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces before a Turkish offensive into northern Syria last week has shattered the relative calm there and he has been accused of abandoning Kurdish militia who helped the United States fight Islamic State militants in the region.

Reporting by Michelle Martin and Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Paul Carrel

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