Germany bans arms sales to Turkey

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-13 00:15:51|Editor: huaxia
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Photo released by Turkish Defense Ministry shows Turkish army launches a military operation into northern Syria on the Turkey-Syria border, on Oct. 9, 2019.(Xinhua)

"Given the background of the Turkish military offensive in northeastern Syria," Germany is stopping arms exports to Turkey, says German foreign minister.

BERLIN, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Saturday that Berlin is stopping arms exports to Turkey following Ankara's offensive in Syria.

"Given the background of the Turkish military offensive in northeastern Syria, the German Federal Government will not issue any new permits for any military equipment that could be used in Syria by Turkey," Maas told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag to be published on Sunday.

According to Maas, Germany since 2016 has implemented a very restrictive policy for arms exports to Turkey, especially after the Turkish military offensive on the northern Syrian region of Afrin. However, an arms export ban was not imposed at that time.

Photo taken on Oct. 9, 2019 shows the northern Syrian city of Ras al-Ain which is under Turkish military attack, as seen from the southern Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar.(Photo by Mustafa Kaya/Xinhua)

Germany exported arms worth 243 million euros (268 million U.S. dollars) to Turkey in 2018, making up almost one third of all German weapons exports, according to Bild am Sonntag.

Turkey launched a military operation on Wednesday in northern Syria against the Kurdish militia known as the People's Protection Units, seen by Ankara as the Syrian offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party.