No new military intervention in northern Syria, France says

Posted April 02, 2018

Former president Francois Hollande, who originally approved French support for the Kurds, bemoaned on March 23 Macron's Syria policy, in particular his attitude to the YPG, accusing him of abandoning them.

On Friday, Erdogan criticised France's "wrong stance" and snubbed Macron's offer of establishing a dialogue between Ankara and the SDF. The SDF is fighting against the Islamic State group. Past year it compared the German and Dutch authorities to Nazis for restricting pro-Erdogan demonstrations during a campaign for a referendum to give him greater powers.

Bosnian Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic said his country would continue to cooperate with Turkey to prevent "any activity that may endanger Bosnia's stability or its relations with Turkey".

The French presidency declined to comment on whether Paris was sending troops.

In recent weeks, Turkey and the United States agreed to try to find some arrangement on the city.

Bosnia has taken no concrete steps against the schools believed to be financed by the Gulen's network, but some Turkish teachers have left the country under political pressure since the coup attempt.

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.

The Afrin operation has already drawn worldwide criticism, notably from Macron. Beyond them, on another hill, Turkish troops have a base, ready to back up their allies if needed.

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

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The casualties appeared to be the first to be killed or wounded in an attack this year on the coalition.

"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", the MGK, which is chaired by Erdogan, said in a statement.

But the SDF is dominated by PYD/PKK forces, as Ankara has demonstrated.

"Our work and coordination (with the coalition) is continuing in the framework of the support programme and joint operations in all regions", SDF spokesman Kino Gabriel told Reuters in a written message. The spokesman added that an improvised explosive device killed the service member who was embedded with US forces on Thursday.

A PYD member in Paris said Macron had promised to send more troops to northern Syria, provide humanitarian assistance and push a diplomatic solution.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday it had assured the YPG of its support to stabilize northern Syria. "Since when has Turkey had an issue of sitting down at the table with terror organisation?"

Macron said he hoped this could be set up with help from Paris and the worldwide community.

Manbij is highly strategic: the main town on westernmost edge of the stretch of Syrian territory held by the USA -backed Syrian Kurds, running along the border with Turkey.

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