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Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Iceland criticises the Turkish military offensive in Syria

Iceland strongly criticises the Turkish military offensive against Kurds in Northern Syria. This position has been formally communicated to the Turkish authorities. As this military offensive is not in accordance with international law, Iceland calls on Turkey to immediately cease its operations and respect international law. Iceland further condemns military operations that, as reported, targets civilians and inflicts casualties. 
Iceland fears that the ongoing military offensive of Turkey could destabilise the region even further and jeopardize the gains achieved in the fight against the Islamic State terrorist organizations.
Foreign Minister Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson issued a statement on Twitter yesterday expressing deep concern over the Turkish government's military offensive against the Kurds in Syrian territory. Moreover, he stated that a ceasefire was needed, not further escalation. The government's position has also been stated in Parliament and Icelandic media in recent days.
It is a clear position of the Icelandic government that while Turkey has certainly received large numbers of Syrian refugees, the current operations are not conducive to the safe return of refugees; they are likely to contribute to continued conflict rather than lasting peace.
The Icelandic authorities will closely monitor situation in the coming days and urge, along with other states, the cessation of military operations. 


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