Report: Germany selling arms to Turkey despite Afrin offensive

Germany continues to authorize the export of weapon to Turkey despite criticizing the country’s military offensive in the Syrian enclave of Afrin, German public broadcaster ARD reported on Thursday.

Last week German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the Turkish offensive in Afrin “unacceptable,” but that has not stopped her government from selling arms to Turkey. The German government has approved the export of military equipment worth €4.4 million ($5.4 million) since January 20, when Turkey launched its offensive against Kurdish militia in Afrin, ARD said, citing a response from the Foreign Ministry to a question by the Left Party.

According to a report by Deutsche Welle (DW), the value of the approvals in the month preceding the offensive was almost €10 million.

Left Party lawmaker Sevim Dağdelen, who has been a prominent critic of German arms exports to Turkey in the past, said the recent approvals had raised questions about Merkel’s credibility after she denounced the invasion as “unacceptable.”

“The criticism does not have any consequences,” she told ARD, adding that rather than taking action to stop the fighting, Merkel’s government authorized more weapons sales.

“Despite all justified security interests of Turkey, it’s unacceptable what’s happening in Afrin, where thousands and thousands of civilians are being pursued, are dying or have to flee,” Merkel told German lawmakers last week.

Social Democrat (SPD) deputy parliamentary leader Rolf Mützenich said one could not rule out that Turkey would use some of the weapons bought from Germany in the ongoing offensive in Syria. “NATO countries like Turkey have more open delivery options, but they can also be denied, and in this case, that would be appropriate,” he told the German broadcaster.

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