What Happened: The United Kingdom is joining other European countries in limiting its arms sales to Turkey by suspending new export licenses over Ankara's military offensive in northern Syria, Reuters reported Oct. 15.
Why It Matters: European countries are important trading partners for Turkey, particularly on arms sales, and export disruptions will compound damage from U.S. sanctions. The decision by various European nations to limit their arms exports to Turkey will heighten tensions between both sides, but sanctions and reductions in bilateral arms trade will be unlikely to deter further military action by Ankara.
Background: European countries are reluctant to threaten harsh penalties against Turkey for its incursion into northern Syria out of fears that Ankara may terminate a delicate refugee deal and send a wave of refugees toward the European Union.
- In Syria, Turkey Will Pay the Price for an Imperfect Buffer (Oct. 14, 2019)
- Turkey: For Ankara, Strategic Gains in Syria Are Worth the Economic Pain of Sanctions (Oct. 10, 2019)
- Turkey's Fragile Economy Faces a Blowback (Oct. 9, 2019)