Erdogan threatens to flood Europe with 3.6 million refugees if EU calls Syria operation an ‘invasion’

epa07909656 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses provincial chairmans of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara, Turkey 10 October 2019. Turkey has launched an offensive targeting Kurdish forces in north-eastern Syria, days after the US withdrew troops from the area. EPA-EFE/STR

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Turkey’s president threatened to send millions of Syrian refugees to Europe if the European Union labelled its military operation in Syria an “invasion”.

“We will open the gates and send 3.6 million refugees your way,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech to lawmakers from his AK Party.

The Turkish leader was enraged by a statement released by the European Union which called on “Turkey to cease the unilateral military action”, saying Ankara’s plan for a “safe zone” would not “satisfy international criteria for refugee return as laid down by UNHCR”.

“Any attempt at demographic change would be unacceptable,” the blistering statement added. ” The EU will not provide stabilisation or development assistance in areas where the rights of local populations are ignored.”

The EU joined a chorus of condemnation of Turkey’s offensive launched on Wednesday and has already seen at least eight civilians, including two children, killed.


Via The Independent

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