The Portuguese government said on Friday it was following with "much concern" Turkey's military offensive in northeastern Syria, which it considered could compromise "priority objectives" of the international coalition against the 'jihadist' Islamic State (IS) group.
"The Portuguese Government is following with great concern the military operation launched by Turkey in northeastern Syria, in particular its consequences for the population in the region," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
In the text, the Government considers that unilateral military initiatives "with potentially disastrous results" could undermine Syria's sustainable political solution and "further destabilize the fragile political process" led by the United Nations and the UN Secretary-General's special envoy.
"Portugal considers that the present offensive could seriously undermine the priority objectives of the international community and the International Coalition against Daesh (ISIS Arabic acronym), namely the fight against terrorist groups still operating in Syrian territory, as well as threatening the security of local partners in the global coalition who were instrumental in the defeat of the Islamic State, "the statement said.
The Portuguese Government concludes with an appeal to Ankara to contribute "constructively" in a negotiated and UN-led political process.
A Syrian neighbor, Turkey on Wednesday launched a military operation involving air and ground forces against the Syrian Kurdish militia Popular Protection Units (YPG), which it considers "a terrorist group" and wants to move away from its border.
The latest report from the Syrian Human Rights Observatory (OSDH) indicates that 41 Kurdish fighters and 17 civilians have been killed in the offensive since Wednesday.
Ankara has announced the death of one of its soldiers in the fighting and eight civilians, including a nine-month-old baby girl and an 11-year-old girl, due to Kurdish rocket fire on Turkish border towns.
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