Turkish offensive in Syria prompts Nordic backlash on exports

11 October 2019

The governments of Finland and Norway are blocking new arms exports to Turkey amid the ongoing anti-Kurdish offensive in Syria, with Sweden intending to follow suit.

A day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ordered forces into Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Syria on 9 October, ostensibly to root out a “terror corridor”, Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne said that new requests for defence equipment export permits would not be approved. He added that new arms export licences would also be blocked for any other country “engaged in war” in Syria.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Søreide announced “a precautionary measure” to reject new applications for defence materiel exports or materiel “for multiple uses” to Turkey, a NATO ally.

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