EU countries agree to halt arms exports to Turkey

EU countries agree to halt arms exports to Turkey

Countries in the European Union on Monday agreed to halt the exportation of arms to Turkey after the country launched its recent offensive into Syria.

The Council of the European Union put out a statement saying the member states "commit to strong national positions regarding their arms export policy to Turkey." 

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The statement, which arose out of a Luxembourg meeting between foreign ministers, condemns Turkey's bombing of Syria and encourages the country to stop its military advance.

"The EU condemns Turkey’s military action which seriously undermines the stability and the security of the whole region, resulting in more civilians suffering and further displacement and severely hindering access to humanitarian assistance," the statement reads.

The countries did not put into place an official EU-wide arms embargo, Politico reported. Some nations including Germany, France, Finland and Sweden, however, have implemented arms embargoes to Turkey.

The foreign ministers also acknowledged Turkey's drilling off Cyprus and committed to creating a list of possible sanctions for the country.

Following a much-maligned pull back of U.S. troops from northern Syria, Turkey launched an offensive against the Kurds, whom they associate with a domestic terrorist group. Kurdish forces were instrumental in the U.S. defeat of ISIS, leaving many to accuse the Trump administration of abandoning its allies.

The U.S. announcement has sparked chaos in the country, allowing for ISIS prisoners to escape as the Kurds who were guarding them are prioritizing defending themselves from Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also threatened to send 3.6 million refugees to Europe if the countries describe their attacks in Syria as an "occupation."

The White House on Monday unveiled a new series of sanctions of Turkey and called on Ankara to halts its military incursion.