Turkish PM spurns French terrorist mediation offer

01 April, 2018, 02:34 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Turkey establishing new military base at altitude of 2,400

The Turks worked with a group of schools owned by Fethullah Gulen, a cleric who Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames for an attempted coup two years ago.

Turkey's recent seizure of the Kurdish-held Afrin region in Syria has strengthened its position in the settlement of Syria's crisis, through not to the extent that it could go its own way, analysts said.

According to the Elysee, Macron reaffirmed the priority of the battle against "the terrorist threat" and assured France's support to the SDF, particularly in stabilizing the security zone in northeast Syria "to prevent the resurgence of ISIS while awaiting a political solution to the Syrian conflict".

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.

The sources initially said five soldiers were killed.It was not clear when the attack occurred.

The office of President Emmanuel Macron announced the mediation offer on Thursday.

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During Thursday's talks, Macron acknowledged the "role of the SDF in the fight against Daesh", the Elysee said using an Arabic acronym for IS.

The Turkish military and its allied rebels this month captured the Kurdish town of Afrin in northwest Syria from the YPG in an operation code named Operation Olive Branch, that started on January 20. The official argued that the operation is jeopardizing the broader US -led military campaign against the Islamic State group.

"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.

Turkish Red Crescent chairman said on Saturday that trucks loaded with humanitarian aid will be sent to northwestern Syria's Afrin in the coming days. "We have our initial assessment and thoughts on that but we won't provide until the investigation is complete", he said. It remains unknown how many French soldiers will go to Syria, but it was said that France would be conducting the operation in coordination with the U.S. military.

A road accident in eastern Turkey has killed 17 people, mostly migrants, who had crossed into the country illegally, a senior official said. "The activities of France could be considered as an attempt to occupy the Syrian territories", the Turkish official stated. "I was forced to point it out to him, even if the tone was a bit raised", he said, without giving details.

Erdogan spoke last week with Macron about the French president's criticism of Turkey's Afrin campaign.



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