PM Babiš: Czechs back EU in condemning Turkish offensive in Syria

10-10-2019

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) said on Thursday that the Czech government agrees with the European Union’s condemnation of Turkey’s ongoing military offensive in northern Syria to create a refugee zone.

Turkish troops and their Syrian rebel allies attacked Kurdish militia on Wednesday, pounding them with air strikes and artillery before starting a ground operation. The assault began days after US President Donald Trump withdrew American troops from the area.

Following a meeting in early September with Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the United Nations, Mr Babiš had said that the Visegrad Group (the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland) supported Ankara’s intention to create a refugee zone in northern Syria.

Earlier this week, however, the Czech prime minister said that he was surprised by the situation and warned that military intervention could lead to another wave of refugees heading for Europe.

Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) had earlier warned in an official statement that the Turkish offensive would “only worsen the situation of civilians and refugees in the region”.