Portugal fears for combat of Islamic State

The Portuguese government has wasted no time in condemning the Turkish offensive in northern Syria.

As EU foreign ministers meet today to settle on a ‘fitting response’, Portugal’s head of diplomacy Augusto Santos Silva has described the government’s ‘grave concerns’ – particularly when it comes to governments’ ‘primary objective’ of the combat of Islamic State.

In a communiqué to TSF radio over the weekend, Santos Silva stressed Portugal is “very worried” about the “potentially disastrous consequences on local populations”. There have already been multiple reports of civilian deaths. But the fact that hundreds of families and supporters of Islamic State have managed to escape in the mounting confusion is potentially every bit as serious.

Critics claim ‘five years work eliminating the terror group’ has effectively been wiped out.

Santos Silva’s statement to TSF reads: “Portugal considers that the present (unilateral Turkish) offensive could seriously compromise priority objectives of the international community and international coalition against Daesh beyond the threat to the security of local global coalition parties that were fundamental in defeating Islamic State”.

The minister has joined European counterparts in Luxembourg today to formulate “an appropriate response” to Turkey.

Explain reports: “Possible sanctions and an EU-wide arms embargo are likely to be discussed” though Turkey’s foreign minister Meylut Cayusoglu has said “whatever they do it will only strengthen us…”

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