The serious rift between Turkey and its NATO allies, caused by Ankara’s new military operation in Syria, is apparently being widened. After the French president declared his support for the Syrian Kurds, Turkey warns that it considers any troops on the ground supporting the Kurds as military targets.
کد خبر: ۷۸۶۱۱۳
تاریخ انتشار: ۱۰ فروردين ۱۳۹۷ - ۱۸:۳۲ 30 March 2018

Tabnak – The serious rift between Turkey and its NATO allies, caused by Ankara’s new military operation in Syria, is apparently being widened. After the French president declared his support for the Syrian Kurds, Turkey warns that it considers any troops on the ground supporting the Kurds as military targets.

For the first time since entering the Elysee Palace, Macron on Thursday hosted a delegation of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of militias in northern and eastern Syria which is largely dominated by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

“The president ... paid tribute to the sacrifices and the determining role of the SDF in the fight against Daesh,” Macron’s office said in a statement. “He assured the SDF of France’s support for the stabilization of the security zone in the northeast of Syria, within the framework of an inclusive and balanced governance, to prevent any resurgence of” Daesh, the statement added.

Also present at the meeting were representatives of Syria's Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), commonly referred to as the YPG’s political wing, as well as some Arab and Christian figures.

Khaled Eissa, a PYD member representing the northern Syria region in Paris, said the French head of state had promised to deploy more ground troops to the area while also providing humanitarian assistance and pushing for a diplomatic solution.

Reacting to the French position, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described Paris’ move as a “show of hostility against Turkey.” “Those who host at the highest level the members of a terrorist organization, which has been freely carrying out its activities in their countries, should be aware that this is nothing but an expression of hostility against Turkey,” Erdogan said.

France no longer has the right to complain about the actions of any terror organization on its soil after meeting with the representatives of the PYD and its armed wing, the People Protection Units (YPG), Erdogan added.

Also reacting to Macron’s proposal to mediate between Turkey and the Kurdish groups, Erdogan said “Turkey needs no mediator… You can come together with terror organizations around the same table but Turkey deals with terror organizations just like it did in Afrin,” he stressed.

In the same vein, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag warned Paris that “Those who enter into cooperation and solidarity with terror groups against Turkey...will, like the terrorists, become a target of Turkey.” He then expressed hope that France does not take such a step.

These developments come as Turkey has announced that it will not hesitate to take action if Kurdish forces do not leave the Syrian town of Manbij.

"It has been stated that terrorists in Manbij should leave the region immediately, otherwise Turkey will not hesitate to take the initiative there as it did in other regions," said the country's National Security Council (MGK) in a statement released late on Wednesday.

The council, headed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, added that the same approach would also be extended to all other militant groups operating to the east of the Euphrates.

Ankara sees the Kurdish militia as the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been fighting for an autonomous region inside Turkey since 1984.

Just like the United States, France has provided YPG-led militants with arms and training. The European country has also deployed dozens of its special forces to the region, infuriating Turkey.

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