Britain halts weapon exports to Turkey over Syria offensive: Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab

WION Web Team London, London, Great Britain (UK) Oct 15, 2019, 05.06 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

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The UK has suspended sales of arms to Turkey for items that might be used in the country's military offensive in Syria.

The United Kingdom on Tuesday said it was suspending all weapons exports to Turkey following its attack of northern Syria as it does a survey of arms deals to its NATO partner.

"Military arms to Turkey that might be used in this operation have been suspended subject to the review that will take place," Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in British Parliament.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told British MPs: "The UK government takes its arms export control responsibilities very seriously and in this case, of course, we will keep our defence exports to Turkey under very careful and continual review.

Watch: Turkey's offensive in Syria gives new lease of life to IS

Earlier, Italy also banned selling weapons and ammunition to Ankara after a weekend decision by France and Germany to suspend sales, and Spain signalled it was ready to do so. Italy was the top arms exporter to Turkey last year.

Meanwhile, US President on Monday imposed sanctions on Turkey even as its military forces continued their push into northern Syria.

"I will soon be issuing an executive order authorising the imposition of sanctions against current and former officials of the Government of Turkey," President Trump said, adding, "the steel tariffs will be increased back to 50 per cent, the level prior to the reduction in May."

(With inputs from agencies)