European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (not pictured) hold a joint news conference at the end of the European Union leaders summit dominated by Brexit, in Brussels, Belgium October 18, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union Council President Donald Tusk on Friday said the halt of Turkish hostilities announced in northern Syria is not a genuine ceasefire and called on Ankara to immediately stop military operations in Syria.
Turkey agreed on Thursday to pause its offensive in Syria for five days to let Kurdish forces withdraw from a “safe zone” Ankara had sought to capture.
“The so-called ceasefire is not what we expected. In fact, it’s not a ceasefire, it’s a demand of capitulation of the Kurds,” Tusk told journalists in Brussels.
“We have to reiterate our call to Turkey to put a permanent end to its military action immediately and withdraw its forces and respect the international humanitarian law.”
Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Alison Williams