The Government contacted the Turkish Ambassador to directly raise its concerns with the "deeply concerning" developments in northeast Syria.

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has also called on Turkey to comply with international law, including the UN Charter and international humanitarian law.

In a statement released this morning, Peters said the Government has serious concerns for peace and stability in northeast Syria.

Peters said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Mfat) had raised its concerns directly with the Turkish Ambassador.


"Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective.

"We urge all parties to exercise restraint and to find a political solution to the conflict in Syria. This is the only way to bring peace to the people of Syria."

While the Government acknowledges Turkey's domestic security concerns, Peters said its cross-border actions risk harming civilian populations, causing further instability and exacerbating humanitarian needs.

"The actions also undermine gains made in the fight against ISIL [Da'esh], which the Global Coalition and its local partners have fought so hard to achieve."

Concerns around stability in the region have mounted after US President Donald Trump announced US forces were leaving Syria.