Published: Mon, April 02, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

'Open support for terrorism': Turkish deputy PM slams Macron's pro-Kurdish statement

'Open support for terrorism': Turkish deputy PM slams Macron's pro-Kurdish statement

Macron's office said he "paid tribute to the sacrifices and the determining role of the SDF in the fight against Daesh" and assured the SDF that France would support "stabilization of the security zone in the north-east of Syria, within the framework of an inclusive and balanced governance".

Both France and the United States have worked closely with YPG fighters in the battle against Islamic State jihadists in Syria.

"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", Turkish Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli said.

The SDF delegation has already had a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

"In the meeting it is stated that aside from Syria, Turkey expects Iraq to prevent operations by the separatist terrorist organisation in its territory and if it is not possible Turkey will prevent them by itself", the council statement said using the term it applies to PKK.

Turkey says the YPG is a terrorist organization, alleging the group is linked to Kurdish separatists inside Turkey, known as the PKK, which was designated a terror organization by both the USA and the EU.

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Najim Muhammad, the deputy commander of the Manbij Military Council, said the US -led coalition has assured them it will protect the town.

"Those who enter into cooperation and solidarity with terror groups against Turkey ... will, like the terrorists, become a target of Turkey".

The Turkish president added that Macron had made "strange remarks" in a call about Syria last week.

In Turkey, Erdogan didn't directly address the threat of French military action but insisted that "we don't need a mediator" and warned Macron "don't get into things that are out of your depth". "You can sit down at the table with terror organisations but Turkey will continue its fight against terror".

"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. "It is not anyone's place to portray our armed forces as something we do not find acceptable".

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