Defiant Erdogan hits back hard against western military sanctions

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Defiant Erdogan hits back hard against western military sanctions

*ISTANBUL: *President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that threats of sanctions and arms embargoes by Western powers would not stop Turkey’s military offensive against Kurdish militants in Syria.

“After we launched our operation, we have faced threats like economic sanctions and embargoes on weapons sales. Those who think they can make Turkey turn back with these threats are gravely mistaken,” Erdogan said in a televised speech.

France and Germany said on Saturday that they were suspending arms exports to Turkey over its offensive in Syria against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Turkey sees the YPG as a terrorist off-shoot of Kurdish rebels in its own territory, but Western powers used the Kurdish forces as the main ground force against the Islamic State group.

Erdogan said the Turkish military and its Syrian proxies now controlled the border town of Ras al-Ain while Tal Abyad was being besieged from two directions. -APP/AFP

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