India expresses deep concern over Turkish offensive in Syria, urges to exercise restraint

India on Thursday expressed deep concerns about the unilateral military offensive by Turkey in north-east Syria, saying that Ankara’s actions can undermine “stability in the region” and has the potential for causing humanitarian and civilian distress.

“We are deeply concerned at the unilateral military offensive by Turkey in north-east Syria. Turkey’s actions can undermine stability in the region and the fight against terrorism. Its action also has the potential for causing humanitarian and civilian distress,” The MEA said in a statement.

New Delhi called on Turkey to exercise restraint, respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, and urged for the peaceful settlement of all issues through dialogue and discussion.

Turkey on Wednesday began its long-threatened military operation in northeast Syria to remove Kurdish-led forces from the border area.

The move came days after the US announced it was withdrawing its troops from the region, leaving the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), without American military support.

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Justifying the move to withdraw US forces, President Donald Trump on Wednesday condemned America’s military interventions in the Middle East, saying that the country has spent an estimated USD 8 trillion in “fighting and policing” in the region, and lost thousands of soldiers over the years.

Earlier, Turkey had raised the Kashmir issue at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), following which the government has asked Ankara to get a proper understanding “of the situation on the ground before” commenting on the matter.

(With ANI inputs)

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