Erdogan 'Saddened' by Macron's 'Wrong Stance' as France Deploys Forces to Manbij
Earlier, Le Parisien reported, citing a representative of the delegation of the SDF, that the French authorities had decided to send troops to help the Kurdish militias in Syria’s Manbij.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has commented on the issue, saying that “saddened’ by France’s ‘wrong stance’ on the Syrian Kurdish forces.
Earlier in the day, his spokesman stated that the country declines Macron’s proposal on holding a dialogue with the Kurds via France’s mediation.
“Turkey has a clear position on the PKK/YPG/PYD forces, which are trying to which try to masquearade as legitimate organizations hiding under the guise of the SDF. We believe that any initiative to establish a “dialogue, contacts and mediation” between Turkey and them are far from reality; we reject them. Countries, which we consider to be our partners and allies should also demonstrate a clear and tough stance on any manifestation of terrorism, rather than taking steps aimed at the legitimization of terrorist structures. Different names […] cannot hide the true face of these terror formations.”
Earlier, the Turkish National Security Council said that Turkey would take action if Kurdish forces do not draw from Syrian Manbij. Furthermore, Ankara vowed to launch a new military operation in the region if Kurdish militia failed to fulfill Turkey’s demands.
On January 20, Turkey, jointly with the Free Syrian Army forces, launched the Operation Olive Branch in Afrin in order to “clear” Turkey’s border with Syria from the terrorist threat.
After launching the operation, Ankara stated that the military operation was likely to expand in the direction of Manbij.
The Syrian government has strongly condemned the offensive, calling Turkey’s operation “a violation of the country’s sovereignty.”
France Shares US Stance That Any Turkish Military Op in Syria is ‘Unacceptable
According to an Elysee source, France shares the US position that any Turkish military operation in Syria is unacceptable, also source added that France does not plan any new operations in the north of Syria without coalition.
French President Emmanuelle Macron on Thursday met with the delegation of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and expressed support for the Kurdish-led fighters, in particular, in order to stabilize the situation in the north-east of the country, according to the communiqué of the Elysee Palace.
Macron recalled that after the UN Security Council adoption of resolution 2401, France had clearly expressed its concern over the situation in Afrin and demanded full access of humanitarian assistance to the civilian population.
According to Le Parisien, the deployment of French troops in Syria’s Manbij is being coordinated with the US.
At the same time, media reports citing Paris as saying that France was not ruling out adaption the military operation in Syria in the fight against Daesh.
France is a member of the US-led coalition that has been conducting airstrikes in Syria since 2014 either without the UN mandate or Damascus’ consent.