Berlin — German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Sunday that Turkey has violated international law in the northern Syria.
“We don’t believe that an attack on Kurdish units or Kurdish militia is legitimate under international law,” Heiko Maas told Germany broadcaster ZDF.
“If there is no basis in international law for such an invasion, then it can’t be in accordance with international law,” he said, in his strongest comments yet on the assault.
Turkish President Erdogan directed a cross-border attack against Syria’s Kurds on October 9 after the United States announced a military pullout from the north of the war-torn country, to widespread international criticism.
A US-brokered ceasefire was announced late Thursday, giving Kurdish forces until Tuesday evening to withdraw from a buffer area Ankara wants to create inside Syrian territory along its southern frontier.
On Sunday, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces fully withdrew from a Turkish-encircled town in northern Syria, in what appeared to be the start of a wider pullout under the ceasefire deal.
“We will do everything we can to ensure that this ceasefire lasts longer than five days and puts a halt to the invasion for the time being,” Maas said.
Germany along with other European countries has suspended arms exports to Turkey over the violation of international terms.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor stated that over 300,000 Syrians are displaced and 114 civilians have been killed by Turkish forces.
Inputs from AFP Berlin.