Turkey faces a setback from the West over the Syria Operations

Turkey faces a setback from the West over the Syria Operations

THE HAGUE: The Netherlands is to freeze all weapons exports to Turkey in the aftermath of Ankara's assault on Kurdish forces in northern Syria, the Dutch foreign ministry said Friday.

“The Netherlands have now decided to withhold all licence applications for the export of military goods to Turkey pending the course of the situation," the ministry said in a statement sent to AFP.

The move comes in the wake of foreign minister Sigrid Kaag's announcement in the Dutch parliament Thursday that all military licence applications by Turkey would be turned down “unless there is clear proof that the goods are not being used in northeastern Syria".

The Netherlands, which is part of an international coalition against ISIS and a fellow NATO partner with Turkey also called on EU member states to “exercise restraint and closely follow the criteria for arms exports" to Turkey.

The Netherlands is responsible for about eight percent of Europe's total arms exports to Turkey, according to figures by the Amsterdam-based research and campaign organisation Stop Wapenhandel.

This included mainly parts for tanks and armoured vehicles, as well as technology and parts for fighter planes and attack helicopters, Stop Wapenhandel said in a report released in 2017.

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok on Wednesday summoned Ankara's envoy to protest Turkey's deadly offensive against Kurdish forces, effectively triggered this week by President Donald Trump's order to pull back US forces from the Syrian border.

The third such Turkish operation since the start of the war in Syria, was met with fierce international condemnation over what many saw as the blatant betrayal of a faithful ally. -APP/AFP