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European, US lawmakers jointly condemn Turkey invasion

European and US lawmakers united Friday in condemnation of Turkey's invasion of Syria and President Donald Trump's troop withdrawal from the country, warning it would trigger a 'resurgence of Islamic terrorism'.

Tanks are pictured lined up as Turkish soldiers and Turkey-backed Syrian fighters deploy near the Turkish village of Akcakale along the border with Syria on 11 October 2019, as they prepare to take part in the Turkish-led assault on northeastern Syria. Picture: AFP

WASHINGTON - European and US lawmakers united Friday in condemnation of Turkey's invasion of Syria and President Donald Trump's troop withdrawal from the country, warning it would trigger a "resurgence of Islamic terrorism."

The chairs of foreign affairs committees in the British, French, German, and European parliaments and the US House of Representatives assailed the Turkish operation as a "military aggression" and violation of international law.

"We... jointly condemn in the strongest terms the Turkish military offensive in northeastern Syria," said the lawmakers who include Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the British House of Commons, and Eliot Engel who heads the US House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Norbert Rottgen of the German Bundestag, Marielle de Sarnez of the French National Assembly, and the European Parliament's David McAllister also signed on.

Representing voices across the political spectrum, they said they "unite across parties and nationalities to demonstrate our commitment to our common values."

The lawmakers directly criticised Trump for his sudden withdrawal of US forces, saying they "deeply regret" the desertion of Kurdish forces who were partners in the fight against Islamic State extremists.

"We consider the abandonment of the Syrian Kurds to be wrong," the lawmakers said, adding that such global coalition partners "massively contributed to the successful yet unfinished fight against (IS) in Syria and incurred heavy losses by doing so."

The withdrawal "marks another landmark in the change of American foreign policy in the Near and Middle East," they said, warning that the turmoil caused by Turkey's offensive "may contribute to a resurgence of Islamic terrorism" and undermines peacekeeping efforts.

The lawmakers also called on the European Union to launch a conflict resolution effort.

The statement came as a US-brokered ceasefire between Turkish and Kurdish forces appeared to crumble, with Turkish airstrikes and mortar fire by its Syrian proxies killing 14 civilians, according to a war monitor.

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