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Arab League to hold emergency talks on Turkey's Syria offensive

Arab League to hold emergency talks on Turkey's Syria offensive

FILE PHOTO: A Turkish military helicopter flies over as Turkish and U.S. troops return from a joint U.S.-Turkey patrol in northern Syria, as it is pictured from near the Turkish town of Akcakale, Turkey, September 8, 2019. REUTERS/Murad Sezer/File Photo

CAIRO: The Arab League is convening an emergency meeting on Saturday (Oct 12) to discuss Turkey's offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria, the body said on Wednesday.

Following a request by Egypt, the region's foreign ministers will gather in Cairo on Oct 12 "to discuss Turkish aggression on Syrian territory", Hossam Zaki, the League's assistant secretary-general, said in a statement late Wednesday.

READ: Turkey launches ground offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria

The announcement came after Turkey launched airstrikes and artillery fire along the border with war-torn Syria earlier in the day, drawing international condemnation.

Backed by Syrian militants, it pushed on with a ground offensive in Tal Abyad, an area under the control of the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

Ankara's attack follows an abrupt US policy shift which saw America withdraw its troops from positions in northern Syria, effectively greenlighting Turkey's military operation.

READ: How the world is reacting to Turkey's assault in Syria

Zaki deemed the offensive "an unacceptable assault on the sovereignty of an Arab member state exploiting its situation ... and violating international law".

In another statement earlier Wednesday, the League warned that the burgeoning attack "could help Daesh (the Islamic State group) regain some of its force".

Source: AFP/ga


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