UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has condemned Turkey’s operation in Syria, saying that “this is not the action that we expected from an ally”.
“The UK government takes its arms export control responsibilities very seriously and in this case, of course, we will keep our defense exports to Turkey under very careful and continual review”, Raab told Parliament.
He continued by saying that Turkey’s actions are “reckless, counterproductive and play straight into Russia’s hands”, adding that these actions have taken “focus away from overriding counter-terrorism goal of defeating Daesh”, referring to Arabic acronym of ISIL Takfiri group.
“No further export licenses to Turkey for items that might be used in military operations in Syria will be granted while we conduct that review”, he stated.
The British foreign secretary also noted that now “we need the NATO more than ever” and “we need more than ever to have closer cooperation with the US and other allies over Turkey”.
In the meantime, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed concern about the Turkish military operation.
“I’m concerned about the consequences for the gains we have made in fighting our common enemy Daesh”, he told reporters.
Prior to this, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the military operation in northern Syria was ‘successfully continuing’, with over 1,000 square kilometers (386 square miles) of territory along the border having been ‘cleared of terrorists’.