Canada halts weapon sales to Turkey

The Canadian government has suspended new weapons sales to Turkey as its NATO ally invades northern Syria, Vancouver Sun reports.

Global Affairs Canada confirmed that Ottawa has “temporarily suspended new export permits to Turkey.”

“This unilateral action risks undermining the stability of an already-fragile region, exacerbating the humanitarian situation and rolling back progress achieved by the Global Coalition Against IS, of which Turkey is a member,” a spokesperson for Global Affairs said in a statement.

“We call for the protection of civilians and on all parties to respect their obligations under international law, including unhindered access for humanitarian aid,” the statement continued.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rejected a US call for an immediate ceasefire in northern Syria, saying Turkey’s offensive will continue.

His comments come as US Vice-President Mike Pence and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prepare to fly to Turkey to try to broker a truce.

On Tuesday, Russia warned that it would not allow clashes to take place between Turkish and Syrian forces.

Turkey says its offensive aims to push Kurdish forces from the border region.

It considers elements of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) a terrorist organisation.

Ankara also says it wants to create a “safe zone” reaching about 30km (20 miles) into Syria to resettle up to two million Syrian refugees currently in Turkey.

However, Syrian forces advanced north at the weekend following a deal with the Kurds to try to hold back the Turkish operation.

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