Smoke rises over the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, as seen from the Turkish border town of Akcakale in Sanliurfa province, Turkey on Thursday. Murad Sezer/ Reuters
The UN Security Council is considering a US-drafted text calling for Turkey, currently engaged in an offensive against Syrian Kurdish forces, to return to diplomacy, diplomatic sources said on Thursday.
The deliberations come after an emergency meeting earlier in the day in which the five European Council members were unable to convince the rest of the 15-state body to adopt a statement asking Turkey to halt its military operations in northern Syria.
France, Germany, Britain, Belgium and Poland were forced to deliver their statement alone, while the United States issued a separate statement asserting that it did not endorse the Turkish operation.
According to diplomats, Russia was the biggest obstacle to a united front from the whole Security Council.
Russian ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said, “If there is a product of the Security Council, it should take into account other aspects of the Syrian crisis, not just the Turkish operation.”
“It should speak about the illegal military presence in that country,” he said, referencing the United States, France and Britain.
The text proposed by Washington references a “deep concern” over the situation, but stops short of asking for an end to the offensive.
It asks Ankara to rely on diplomatic channels “rather than military” ones to achieve its objectives, diplomats said.
It also calls for the protection of civilians and insists that any refugees' return should be on a voluntary basis.
A comment period was opened until Friday at 1400 GMT after Russia asked for time to consult with Moscow. The text will then either be dropped or move toward adoption, diplomats said.
On Thursday, US President Donald Trump raised the possibility that the United States mediate the conflict between Turkey and the Kurds, and a US official said Trump had asked American diplomats to broker a ceasefire.
That operation, interrupted after two accords negotiated by Ankara with first Washington, and then Moscow, allowed Turkey to to seize control of a "safe zone" inside Syria around 120 kilometres long and 32 kilometres deep.
Mass expulsion or the physical extermination of an entire ethnic or religious community — ethnic cleansing — is usually treated by the media in one of two different ways: either it receives maximum publicity as a horror story about which the world should care and do something about, or it is ignored and never reaches the news agenda.
Turkey it seems is keen to open a fighting front on its border with Syria. The motive is a simple one of getting rid of the presence of the Kurdish-based Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which had successfully fought against the Daesh forces in the north of Syria. Turkey’s objection to the SDF is that it has elements of
Sheikh Mohammed added in a tweet on Twitter: "We found its executive director at the service counters, receiving customers, speeding up procedures, and contributing to clearing transactions. The secret shopper assured us that providing the service did not exceed five minutes."
The first lady arrived in Cairo from Amman, where she attended the wedding of Crown Prince Hussein. She is travelling to Morocco on Saturday before heading to Portugal, the final stop of her tour, on Monday.
Daily working hours, in the morning and evening shifts, shall not exceed eight hours during the months of the ban. Employers are required to provide a shaded area where workers can rest during the midday break.