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Denmark summons Turkish ambassador over Syria offensive

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Denmark summons Turkish ambassador over Syria offensive
A woman walks past smoke following Turkish bombardment of Syria's northeastern town of Ras al-Ain.Photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP/Ritzau Scanpix
17:43 CEST+02:00
Minister of Foreign Affairs Jeppe Kofod on Thursday summoned the Turkish ambassador to Denmark to formally voice his concern over the military offensive in Syria.

Turkey began military operations in Syria’s northeastern regions on Thursday.

Denmark’s foreign ministry confirmed in a press statement that Turkish ambassador Uğur Kenan İpek had met with the ministry’s acting foreign policy director.

“We don’t summon ambassadors every day, but this situation is deeply concerning,” Kofod said in the press statement.

“We have made it clear to Turkey today that we condemn the military offensive, which is damaging civilians and the battle against Isis [Islamic State, ed.], and undermining the political process in Syria,” he said.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen also commented on the situation on Thursday.

“This is an incredibly serious situation and there is reason to be concerned about civilians, and also because it weakens our ability to continue the effort against Isis. So I believe there is good reason to distance ourselves from the Turkish aggression,” Frederiksen said.

“We are already doing this via the EU. I think that is positive, and the foreign minister has today summoned the Turkish ambassador to a meeting at which we made our position clear,” she added.

Turkish forces are reported to have attacked 181 military targets since beginning an offensive in northeastern Syria on Wednesday, according to information released by Turkey’s defence ministry.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that 101 “terrorists” had been killed, ostensibly in reference to Kurdish fighters.

The military operation came shortly after President Donald Trump’s decision to pull US troops from the area, which has been under the control of the Kurdish YPG militia, an erstwhile close ally of the US and rest of the West in the fight against the Isis terror group.

Turkey views the YPG as a hostile force allied with the PKK, a Turkey-based Kurdish left-wing militant and political organization.

READ ALSO: Denmark to deport four for attack on Turkish embassy

 
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