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Friday , November 22 2019

KUWAIT SLAMS TURKISH OFFENSIVE

In this photo taken from the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, smoke billows from targets inside Syria during bombardment by Turkish forces on Oct 10. (AP)

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 10, (Agencies): An official source at the Kuwait Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday the military operation launched by the Turkish army in northeast Syria posed “a direct threat to the security and stability in the region”.

The source urged all parties to immediately stop all military operations. “The military escalation risks undermining the chances of political solution sought by the international community after the tangible progress made in the quest for peace in Syria,” the source said.

The source was referring to the recent success of the Syrian parties in forming a constitutional committee under the mediation of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria Geir O. Pedersen.

Highlighting the need to realize the aspirations of the Syrian people and maintain Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, the source called on all parties concerned to exercise self-restraint and avoid resort to military option that could exacerbate the suffering of the Syrian people.

An official source at the Saudi Foreign Ministry strongly denounced “the aggression” launched by the Turkish army against areas in northeast Syria. “This aggression is a flagrant offensive on the unity, independence and sovereignty of the Syrian territories,” the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted the source as saying on Wednesday.

“This aggression represents a threat to the regional security and peace,” the source said, underscoring the importance of guaranteeing the safety of the brotherly Syrian people and Syria’s stability, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Kurdish fighters who defeated Islamic State across much of Syria with US help will struggle to fend off the Turkish army and its Syrian rebel allies who thrust across the border on Wednesday in a long-threatened offensive.

Under Turkish attack after their US allies withdrew from part of the border, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – which the Kurdish YPG militia spearheads – is heavily outgunned by NATO’s secondlargest military.

While the United States has armed and trained the SDF through years of fighting IS, Washington held back from supplying its Kurdish allies with a more sophisticated arsenal, reflecting the needs of the battle but also Turkish concerns.

“The YPG don’t have heavy weapons (from the US) that would be useful against Turkish aircraft or tanks,” a YPG source told Reuters. “The heaviest weapons we got from the US are some mortar shells, nothing heavier. No missiles, no anti-aircraft weapons, no anti-tank,” added the source, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss military affairs.

Washington’s policy towards the YPG has underscored the broader complexities of its role in the Syrian conflict that developed from protests against President Bashar al-Assad into a multi-sided war and sucked in Russia, Turkey and Iran.

A senior Kurdish official warned on Thursday that Islamic State jihadists could break out of prisons in northeast Syria as fighting intensifies between Kurdish-led forces and Turkey

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