By Yusuf Hatip
BRUSSELS (AA) - The European Council issued a statement Thursday on Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria as the European Union leaders summit in Brussels got underway.
The council noted the U.S.-Turkey announcement on a pause in all military operations, the statement said.
The EU also condemned Turkey’s operation, describing it as a “unilateral military action.”
“The operation undermines the fight against Daesh and threatens heavily European security,” the statement added.
The council also recalled that member states decided to halt arms export licensing to Turkey with the conclusions on Oct. 14.
The statement came after Ankara agreed with Washington to pause Operation Peace Spring for five days so the YPG/PKK could leave the region.
The two-day EU leaders summit began Thursday in Brussels.
The summit, which gathers 28 EU leaders, will focus on Brexit, climate change, financial issues and priorities of the European Commission under president-elect Ursula von der Leyen, who will assume office on Nov. 1.
Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.