STA, 10 October 2019 - Slovenia has called on Turkey on Thursday to end its military operation in north-eastern Syria, protect civilians and respect the international humanitarian law. It has also expressed deep concern over the operation. President Borut Pahor meanwhile labelled the operation unacceptable.
The Slovenian Foreign Ministry pointed out in a press release on Thursday that the operation could jeopardise the stability of the region, and the progress achieved in the battle against Islamic State and other terrorist organisations.
It also undermines the political process for the solving of the Syrian crisis, the ministry added.
Turkey launched a planned military offensive into north-eastern Syria on Wednesday, launching airstrikes and artillery fire across the border just days after the US announced it was pulling its troops back from the area.
The operation is aimed at pushing Kurdish forces, who were a key ally of the US in the fight against Islamic State, away from Turkey's border.
According to data provided by activists, 15 people have been killed so far, including eight civilians, among them two children. The international community has condemned the operation.
As a result of the operation people's lives are in danger and the humanitarian situation in the country is deteriorating, which could lead to more refugees, the Foreign Ministry said.
It also stressed that a permanent solution of the Syrian conflict could be reached only if Syria's territorial integrity is respected in the political process led by the UN in line with the 2015 UN Security Council resolution 2254.
Pahor, who is in Greece for the Athens Democracy Forum, told the Slovenian press that the international community must do everything it can to deter Turkish President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan from using force against Kurds.
He added that he had brought up his concerns about Kurdish issues with Erdogan several times. Pahor also said that some ten years ago Erdogan, in the capacity of prime minister, was instrumental in bridging the conflict between Turks and Kurds.
But cooperation between Erdogan and Kurds has soured since then to a degree that they are now on opposite sides.
Everything must be done to preserve dialogues between the international community and Turkey and between Turkey and Kurds, Pahor underlined.