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Merkel urges Turkey to end fighting in Syria

Turkey must stop its military operations in northern Syria which bring even more suffering to the already war-ravaged country, Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday, re-iterating her calls for an end to the fighting.

In her statement to the German parliament, she also criticized that the offensive would bring new insecurity to the region and to Europe with regard to the terrorist organization Islamic State.

The previous successes in the fight against Islamic State, which had been made possible largely by Kurdish troops in northern Syria, could be nullified.

At the same time, the Merkel stressed that Turkey has taken in some 3.6 million Syrian refugees and is thereby also helping Europe.

Despite criticism, she would continue to support the Turkish-European refugee agreement, Merkel said.

Turkey launched its long-threatened incursion into northern Syria on October 9, targeting Syrian Kurdish militias that Ankara says are linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that is waging an insurgency within the country.