French troops in Syria would amount to invasion: Turkey

Apr 02, 2018, 00:39
French troops in Syria would amount to invasion: Turkey

But Macron's office on Friday said it was not planning any new military operation on the ground in northern Syria outside the worldwide coalition against IS.

After Macron's meeting Thursday with members of the Syrian Democratic Forces, Kurdish figures claimed that the French leader had promised to send troops to Manbij near Syria's border with Turkey.

Turkey does not intend to negotiate with terrorists in Syria, Turkish presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said.

That same month, Syria's former antiquities chief Maamoun Abdulkarim expressed concern about a group of 40 ancient villages in the Afrin region, which has been included by UNESCO on its world heritage list and described as "Ancient Villages of Northern Syria".

Erdogan's comments on Friday came less than two weeks after Turkish forces and Free Syrian Army rebels drove YPG fighters from Afrin city in northern Syria. Mohammed Abu Adel, the head of the Manbij Military Council, an Arab-Kurdish US. -backed group in the town, says the bomb went off hundreds of meters away from a security headquarters that houses the council just before midnight on Thursday. "Who are you to speak of mediation between Turkey and a terrorist organisation?"

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Manbij is highly strategic: the main town on westernmost edge of the stretch of Syrian territory held by the US -backed Syrian Kurds, running along the border with Turkey. We hope they will not dare to seek our help when France is filled with terrorists fleeing from Syria and Iraq after being encouraged by French policies.

Turkey considers the YPG to be an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a decades-long insurgency against the state, and has been infuriated by the support Washington has provided the Syrian Kurdish fighters. "When he kept speaking so strangely-even though it may have been at a high frequency - I had to say something because it's not anyone's place to describe our military forces in an unacceptable fashion", Erdogan explained.

Macron's remarks also drew an angry reaction from Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag, who said Friday that the promise to back the Kurds amounts to support for and legitimization of terrorist groups.

The Turkish Armed Forces were able to take advantage of the recent PKK withdrawal in northern Iraq to move their units into several abandoned areas.

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