NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated his "serious concerns" about the ongoing Turkish military operation in northern Syria and warned it could "further destabilise the region". He was speaking to reporters outside 10 Downing Street in London on Tuesday, after the UK announced that it was suspending new arms sales to Turkey.
Asked to comment on the suspension, Stoltenberg said, "It reflects that many NATO allies are very critical and are condemning the military operation in Northern Syria." He further added that, "I am concerned about how this can further escalate the tensions in the region, how it can further destabilise the region and the human suffering. And not least, I'm concerned about the consequences for our, for the gains we have made in fighting our common enemy Da'esh."
Although existing arms sales can continue under current export licences, the UK joins Italy, France and Germany among other countries who have stopped future weapons exports to Turkey following its military operation in Syria.