EU foreign ministers will meet in Brussels today for wide ranging talks, including discussions on the latest developments in northern Syria. At
EU foreign ministers will meet in Brussels today for wide ranging talks, including discussions on the latest developments in northern Syria.
At the UN, EU representatives have denounced Turkey’s incursion into northern Syria, calling on Ankara to cease “unilateral military action” against Kurdish positions. Leaders of the bloc have also criticised the offensive on the grounds that it could lead to the re-emergence of the Islamic State and compound an already critical humanitarian crisis.
Ankara’s move will further worsen struggling EU-Turkish relations and likely lead to sanctions from the bloc. Although Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to send 3.6 million refugees to Europe if Brussels crosses Ankara and levies sanctions, this threat is unlikely to be persuasive—the EU already bears the burden of providing for Syrian refugees in Turkey, having committed some $6.6 billion in aid to date.
In the event sanctions are levied, based on previous EU discussions, they will likely target Turkish oil and gas drilling off Cyprus and specific individuals and companies linked to the government. Sanctions will likely have an appreciable effect on the Turkish economy, which took a hard hit from US sanctions imposed a year ago.