Arab League to hold emergency meeting over Turkish offensive into Syria

Arab League to hold emergency meeting over Turkish offensive into Syria
Arab League to hold emergency meeting over Turkish offensive into Syria

The Arab League will hold an emergency meeting onSaturday, it said in a statement, following a call by Egypt for the body to meetover Turkey's offensive into Syria.

Egypt's foreign ministry, in a statement onWednesday, "condemned in the strongest terms the Turkish aggression onSyrian territory," saying the offensive "represents a blatant andunacceptable attack on the sovereignty of a brotherly Arab state."

Turkey launched a military operation against Kurdishfighters in northeast Syria on Wednesday just days after U.S. troops pulledback from the area.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said the aim was toeliminate what he called a "terror corridor" on Turkey's southernborder, but European countries called on Ankara to halt the operation.

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi discussed theTurkish offensive with his Iraqi counterpart Barham Salih in a phone call onWednesday, Egyptian presidency spokesman Bassam Rady said, according tostate-run Akhbar Elyom.

"The Turkish aggression … represents adangerous development that threatens international peace and security andexacerbates the crisis situation in the region," Rady said.

Turkey had been poised to enter northeast Syria sinceU.S. troops, who have been fighting with Kurdish-led forces against IslamicState, started to leave in an abrupt policy shift by U.S. President DonaldTrump.

The Egyptian foreign ministry, in its statement,"warned of the repercussions of the Turkish move on the unity andterritorial integrity of Syria".

The Arab League, which groups 22 states includingEgypt, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, said in a statement on Wednesday that Saturday'smeeting would be at the ministerial level "to discuss the Turkishaggression" on Syrian territory.

"Itconstitutes an unacceptable attack on the sovereignty of an Arab member stateof the League," Arab League Assistant Secretary General Hossam Zakisaid. 

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