The announcement was made Saturday, October 12 in a joint statement of the French Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Armies. Paris suspends, with immediate effect, arms exports to Turkey. The decision follows the outbreak of a Turkish offensive in northern Syria.
It was an expected decision, as Germany had announced earlier in the day that it was banning arms shipments to Turkey. " France has decided to suspend any plans to export war materials that could be used as part of the offensive in Turkey, " said the statement released Saturday night.
Admittedly, France is not the main supplier of Turkey, with 45 million materials exported in 2018. But adding Germany and the Netherlands, which also announced to ban all exports, Turkey should still feel the impact of these measures. Finland, as well as Norway, had also announced such measures.
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Ankara's main European armament suppliers are Spain and Italy, which together, according to Swedish independent institute SIPRI, export more than 250 million dollars worth of equipment. Countries that are far from Turkey's main ally, the United States, which has exported nearly $ 300 million worth of weapons in 2018.
The European Union wants to look into a joint response on Monday at the Foreign Affairs Council. A council that will finally be joined by the head of the Dutch diplomacy, who decided to shake his agenda and move a trip to India to attend.
Very violent fighting takes place around the cities of Tell Abyad and Ras al-Ain, held by the Kurds. In five days, the Turkish offensive killed about 50 civilians and 130,000 displaced. This Sunday, they learn that they would have allowed 800 women and children of jihadists of the Islamic State group to flee from a camp where they were detained, according to the Kurds.
At least 14 civilians were also killed on Sunday by shelling or shooting in northern Syria, according to the NGO Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Among these victims were five people who were driving on the highway near Ain Issa, said the OSDH. Pro-Turkish rebels fired on their vehicles, according to the same source.