Turkey says France 'completely wrong' on Syria

Aaron Brown
April 2, 2018

"We have no intention to harm soldiers of allied nations, but we can not allow terrorists to roam freely (in northern Syria)", Erdogan said.

"The cooperation will be reinforced", she said.

France and the U.S. have provided the militia weapons and required training to support its battle against ISIS.

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

Ankara launched an air and ground offensive in Syria's northwestern Afrin district on January 20 to clear YPG militants from the region.

But Macron's office on Friday said Paris was not planning any new military operation on the ground in northern Syria outside the global coalition against the Daesh extremist group.

Macron met an SDF delegation on Thursday and gave assurances of French support to stabilise northern Syria.

It is believed that the France are taking over, or at least offering to take over the USA role in Syria.

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Trump's remark on Thursday that the United States would be "coming out of Syria" appeared to take his own administration by surprise.

Tensions flared between Ankara and Paris after French President Emmanuel Macron expressed support for the Kurdish militants in Syria, now the target of a Turkish military operation. The SDF is dominated by Syrian Kurds though it also includes Arab forces.

Asked whether US forces had been informed of a decision to withdraw or were preparing to do so, a spokesman for the coalition said he would not comment on future operations.

Kurdish officials said Mr Macron had committed himself to sending more military troops to the area but Paris declined to comment on that.

"He assured the SDF of the support of France, in particular for the stabilization of the security zone in northeast Syria, within a framework of inclusive and balanced governance, to prevent any revival of Islamic State", his office said.

"Those who say "we guaranteed support to YPG", "we can mediate between Turkey and SDF"... are out of their depth and are surpassing their limit", Erdogan thundered. We reject as frivolous any efforts to suggest "dialogue", "contact" or "mediation" between Turkey and those terrorist organizations.

Mr Erdogan, whose country is a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally of France, said in Ankara: "Don't get into things that are out of your depth".

Erdogan spoke last week with Macron about the French president's criticism of Turkey's Afrin campaign. "I was forced to point it out to him, even if the tone was a bit raised", he said, without giving details.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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