Pakistan PM Imran Khan has assured Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Pakistan’s full support and solidarity” after Ankara attacked Syria. India, on the other hand, condemned the brutal Turkish aggression in the region.
In a telephone conversation on Friday, Imran told Erdogan that Pakistan “fully understands Turkey’s concerns relating to terrorism”, according to a statement issued by the prime minister’s office.
“As a country which has lost more than 70,000 lives due to terrorism and borne the burden of more than 3 million refugees for decades, Pakistan is fully cognizant of the threats and challenges being faced by Turkey having lost 40,000 of its people to terrorism,” Khan said.
“Like always, Pakistan stands in full support and solidarity with Turkey.” He said Pakistan was hopeful that “Turkey’s efforts for enhanced security, regional stability and peaceful resolution of the Syrian situation are fully successful.”
India earlier lammed Turkey’s unilateral military offensive in northeast Syria, saying it can undermine stability in the region and the fight against terrorism. In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said, “We are deeply concerned at the unilateral military offensive by Turkey in north-east Syria.”
New Delhi called upon Ankara to exercise restraint and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria. India also urged for peaceful settlement of all issues through dialogue and discussion.
The move came after the US announced it was withdrawing its troops from the region, leaving the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), its main ally in the battle against the Islamic State (IS) terror group, without US military support.
Heavy clashes between Turkish forces and the SDF were reported in the Syrian border towns. The SDF, led by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), has appealed to the US and its allies for a “no-fly zone” to protect it from Turkish air attacks. Turkey considers the YPG a “terrorist” group