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Canada extends Turkey arms sales ban 'until further notice'

Ottawa suspended export permits last year after Ankara launched military operation in Syria
Ban includes ammunition, armour, electronics, light weapons and protective equipment (AFP/File photo)

Canada has extended a ban on arms exports to Turkey following Ankara's decision last year to deploy troops to northern Syria.

CBC reported on Wednesday that while Ankara was still on the Canadian government's list of "trusted" states, with which defence contractors can trade and do business, certain military items were barred from being exported to Turkey "until further notice".

While permit applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, the revised notification makes it clear that certain military items "will be presumptively denied," CBC said, citing Charles-Marie Matte, the deputy director of the export controls division at Canada's Global Affairs.

According to the broadcaster, the ban covers ammunition, armour, electronics, light weapons and protective equipment.

Still, there are "exceptional circumstances" where the ban may not apply, including the export of components for any "Nato missile defence system", said Matte.

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Turkey has said it's willing to buy US-made MIM-104 Patriot air defence missiles system if it gets a good price from Washington.

US defence contractor Raytheon, which has a branch in Canada, manufactures the Patriot missile system.

Canada first issued a ban on arms exports to Turkey in October, after Turkey launched its operation in northern Syria to root out the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

Turkey says the YPG is a "terrorist offshoot" of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.

The PKK is blacklisted as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies.

American forces had worked closely with the YPG under the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance against the Islamic State (IS) group.

Since its operation in northern Syria, Turkey has used areas captured near its borders to establish a safe zone where Syrian refugees can relocate.

Canada is not the only country to apply an arms embargo against Turkey since its military operation in Syria.

Britain, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands all issued bans on arms exports following operation 'Peace Spring'.

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