By Erbil Basay, Cuneyt Karadag, and Yusuf Ozcan
BERLIN/PARIS (AA) – Germany and France announced Saturday they halted arms export to Turkey.
"Against the backdrop of the Turkish military offensive in northeastern Syria, the Federal Government will not grant new permits for any military equipment that could be used in Syria by Turkey,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told local newspaper Bild am Sonntag.
Separately, French Minister of Armed Forces Florence Parly also said that her government decided to stop arms export to Turkey amid the latter’s newly launched operation in Syria.
“While France is waiting the cessation of Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria, it decided to suspend any plans to exports war materials to Turkey which could possibly used in the operation,” Parly said on Twitter.
Turkey on Wednesday launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
*Writing by Gozde Bayar