Turkey Threatens to Attack French Forces in Syria For Backing Kurds

GETTYMacron said schooling from a younger age would better integrate youngsters into society

GETTYMacron said schooling from a younger age would better integrate youngsters into society

"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".

Macron vowed support to the SDF officials, who complained of the Turkish military campaign against the YPG in the northwestern Syrian district of Afrin. Turkey's military argues Manbij is controlled by Syrian Kurdish militiamen it views as an extension of Kurdish insurgents inside Turkey.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he was saddened by France's "completely wrong" approach to Syria.

Those who cooperate with terror organizations attacking Turkey would be a "target for Turkey just like terrorists", Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said in a series of tweets Friday. Erdogan's spokesman separately said Turkey expected its allies to take a clear stance against terrorism instead of steps that amount to legitimising "terror structures".

The PKK has been waging an insurgency in the south-east since 1984 and is considered as a terrorist organisation by Ankara and its western allies.

Turkish forces drove the YPG from the northwestern Syrian town of Afrin almost two weeks ago and Erdogan says Ankara is preparing to extend operations along hundreds of miles of border, including areas where the American forces are deployed.

While confirming France's "support", the Elysee denied reports by Kurdish sources in the meeting that France is ready to send troops to Syria to defend them against Turkish troops. The White House readout said the subjects addressed focused on showing solidarity with the United Kingdom against Moscow over the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergey Skripal and trade tariffs between the USA and the European Union.

"France does not foresee any new military operation on the ground in northern Syria outside of the worldwide coalition's fight against Islamic State", the Elysee source added.

SDF leaders said that on Thursday France promised to send them more troops, provide humanitarian assistance and "mediate" between them and Turkey.

"We hope France doesn't come to us for help when the terrorists running from Syria and Iraq fill their country after being encouraged by their policy", he said.

France and the European Union consider the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which is pushing for a separate Kurdish state in Turkey, to be a terrorist organization.

"He was saying weird things and so, even if it was a bit high-octane, I had to tell him some things", Erdogan said.

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