UK reviewing defense exports to Turkey


The U.K. is reviewing defense exports to Turkey, saying they would not issue new licenses on arms that could be used in Turkey’s anti-terror operation in Syria, Britain’s foreign secretary said on Tuesday.

Speaking at an urgent question session at the House of Commons, Dominic Raab said the U.K. will keep “defense exports to Turkey under very careful and continual review”.

“I can tell the House that no further export licenses to Turkey for items which might be used in military operations in Syria will be granted while we conduct that review,” he said.

Media reports in Britain have claimed that the U.K. objected to a proposed arms sale ban to Turkey during a meeting Monday of the EU Foreign Affairs Council.

Individual countries have imposed arms sale bans to Turkey, but no EU-wide ban emerged from that meeting.

Turkey on Oct. 9 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 deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
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