The German government is halting arms exports to Turkey as its incursion in Northern Syria is alienating its NATO partners.
On the one hand, Turkish artillery hit a US military observation post near the outskirts of the border city of Kobane on Friday, while the conflict is already having a knock-on effect on German domestic security.
Tens of thousands of Kurdish immigrants took to the streets of Cologne, Hamburg, Munich, and Berlin on Saturday, bearing the symbols of the Kurdish YPG militia and Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava). Less impressive demonstrations took place in Paris and Athens.
Turkey considers the Kurdish YPG militia a terrorist organization, while the Kurdish de facto government in Northern Syria claims that former ISIS fighters now fight with the support of the Turkish army.
The Kurdish forces spearheaded the fight against the Islamic State under the US-backed Syrian Defense Forces (SDF) umbrella. They held the territory until US troops begun their withdrawal last week, opening the way for a Turkish incursion.
The Turkish YPG militia lost between 10,000 and 11,000 fighters during the war on ISIS.
According to the UN, over 100,000 civilians have been displaced as a result of the incursion; however, the Kurdish militia has also been taking the fight along the border within Turkish territory.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announced an arms embargo against Turkey on Saturday. On Friday, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the US could “shut down the Turkish economy” if Ankara goes too far.