Turkey's Erdogan rejects French offer of talks with SDF

02 April, 2018, 01:03 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • Syrian refugee children

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

The YPG is the military wing of the main Syrian Kurdish political movement, the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

Syrians enjoy a warm day at a park after Turkish Armed Forces and Free Syrian Army (FSA) cleared northwestern Syria's Afrin from PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terror groups within the "Operation Olive Branch", on March 29, 2018.

"Countries which we regard as friends and allies must display an open and clear stance against all kinds of terror, instead of taking steps which amount to legitimising terror structures".

"The various names and disguises can not hide the true identity of the terrorist organisation".

Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli warned "if France takes any steps regarding its military presence in northern Syria, this would be an illegitimate step that would go against worldwide law and in fact, it would be an invasion".

"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 Islamic State".

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Macron and Erdogan have spoken several times on the phone since Turkey's operation began on January 20.

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag took a much tougher line, lashing out at France and warning that any country cooperating with "terrorists" would be on Turkey's radar. "I was forced to point it out to him, even if the tone was a bit raised", he said, without giving details.

YPJ is the women's force within the YPG.

The French presidential official denied any plans to send ground troops - or launch any operation outside the coalition's efforts against IS.

"The two leaders expressed support for continued efforts to increase cooperation between their two countries, to advance shared interests as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, and to work through issues that affect the bilateral relationship", a White House statement said. Ankara considers the Kurdish YPG, which forms the strongest force in the SDF, to be a terrorist group.

While U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday the U.S. would be pulling out of Syria "very soon", France insists that Islamic State extremists remain a threat to global security and wants the U.S.to stay until they are vanquished.

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.

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