*ANKARA, Oct. 9, 2019 (Xinhua) -- Photo released by Turkish Defense Ministry shows Turkish army launches a military operation into northern Syria on the Turkey-Syria border, on Oct. 9, 2019. Turkish Armed Forces on late Wednesday began a land operation into northern Syria against the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). (Xinhua/IANS)
New Delhi (IANS) India on Thursday slammed Turkey's unilateral military offensive in northeast Syria, saying it can undermine stability in the region and the fight against terrorism.
In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs said "We are deeply concerned at the unilateral military offensive by Turkey in north-east Syria."
It said that Turkey's action also has the potential for causing humanitarian and civilian distress.
New Delhi called upon Ankara to exercise restraint and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria. India also urged for peaceful settlement of all issues through dialogue and discussion.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced air raids on Tuesday aimed at removing Kurdish-led forces from the border area.
The move came after the US announced it was withdrawing its troops from the region, leaving the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), its main ally in the battle against the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group, without US military support.
Heavy clashes between Turkish forces and the SDF were reported in the Syrian border towns.
The SDF, led by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), has appealed to the US and its allies for a "no-fly zone" to protect it from Turkish air attacks. Turkey considers the YPG a "terrorist" group.