UPDATE 1-U.S. warns Turkey of 'consequences' over Syria assault as U.N. Security Council meets




(Rewrites with statements after the U.N. Security Council meeting; changes dateline, adds byline)

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 10 (Reuters) - The United States warned Turkey at the United Nations on Thursday that it faced "consequences" if its assault against Kurdish militias in northeast Syria did not protect vulnerable populations or contain Islamic State militants.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft, speaking after a closed-door meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Syria, did not specify what those consequences could be.

Turkey pounded U.S.-allied Kurdish militia in Syria for a second day on Thursday, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee and killing dozens.

"Failure to play by the rules, to protect vulnerable populations, failure to guarantee that ISIS cannot exploit these actions to reconstitute, will have consequences," Craft told reporters.

The 15-member Security Council met at the request of the five European nations: Britain, France, Germany, Belgium and Poland. In a joint statement, the European states called on Turkey to stop its military action.

"Renewed armed hostilities in the northeast will further undermine the stability of the whole region, exacerbate civilian suffering and provoke further displacements," they said in a statement read to reporters by Germany's Deputy U.N. Ambassador Jurgen Schulz.

The offensive was launched days after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled U.S. troops out of the way in an abrupt policy shift that followed a phone conversation with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday.

Turkey says the Kurdish YPG, the main component of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, is a terrorist group linked to Kurdish insurgents that have fought in Turkey for years.

Trump denied he had abandoned the Kurdish forces, the most effective U.S. partners in fighting Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.

Turkey told the U.N. Security Council in a letter on Wednesday that its military operation in northern Syria would be "proportionate, measured and responsible."

"The operation will only target terrorists and their hideouts, shelters, emplacements, weapons vehicles and equipment," Turkey's U.N. Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu wrote. "All precautions are taken to avoid collateral damage to the civilian population."

Turkey justified its action under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, which covers an individual or collective right to self-defense against armed attack.

The U.N. Security Council is discussing a U.S.-drafted statement, but it appeared unlikely they could reach an agreement. Such statements are agreed by consensus.

"It should take into account other aspects of the Syrian crisis not just the Turkish operation. It should speak about the illegal military presence in that country," Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters, referring to the presence of U.S. troops in Syria. (Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Chris Reese and Grant McCool)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Three family murder-suicides within ten days shock Turkey as the country faces record unemployment
Three family murder-suicides within ten days shock Turkey as the country faces record unemployment

The deaths of three separate families within ten days have shocked Turkey as the country struggles with mass unemployment and a financial crisis.  On Friday, authorities confirmed that a family of three had been found dead in their home in the central Istanbul district of Bakırköy, poisoned by cyanide.  Police had entered the house after neighbours complained of a chemical smell. Bülent Kerimoğlu, the local mayor, said that the father, a jeweller, had financial troubles, and had poisoned himself, his wife, and his six-year-old child. It follows two similar stories involving cyanide. Earlier in the month, police discovered the bodies of a family of four, including a nine year-old daughter...

Philippines
Philippines' Duterte to VP: keep state secrets or lose your 'drugs tsar' post

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to remove the vice president from her "drugs tsar" post if she shared state secrets with foreign individuals and entities.

U.N. warns Bolivia crisis could
U.N. warns Bolivia crisis could 'spin out of control' as death toll mounts

The United Nations warned on Saturday violence in Bolivia could "spin out of control" following recent skirmishes between security forces and coca farmers loyal to ousted President Evo Morales that have left nine dead. Morales resigned under pressure from Bolivia's police and military last Sunday after evidence of vote rigging tainted his Oct. 20 election victory. The leftist and charismatic former coca farmer has since called his ouster a right-wing "coup" and decried growing allegations of repression by security forces under interim President and former conservative lawmaker Jeanine Anez.

Car bomb kills 19 in northern Syria: monitor
Car bomb kills 19 in northern Syria: monitor

A car bomb killed 19 people, 13 of them civilians, in the Turkish-controlled town of Al-Bab in northern Syria on Saturday, a war monitor said. The bomb, which struck a bus and taxi station in the town, also wounded 33 people, some of them seriously, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing but the Observatory said there had been persistent security incidents in the town since its capture by Turkish troops from the Islamic State group in February 2017.

Congo
Congo's president hopes Ebola outbreak will end this year
  • World
  • 2019-11-15 13:46:46Z

Congo's President Felix Tshisekedi says he's hopeful the Ebola outbreak in his country will end in the coming weeks. Over 2,000 people have died in the outbreak which the United Nations declared an international emergency in July. Speaking in Berlin after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Tshisekedi said he's willing to work with any country interested in Congo's vast natural resources, including China and Russia.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Middle East