Macron Asks Turkey To End Syria Offensive
French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday urged Turkey to immediately end its offensive against Kurdish forces in northern Syria, saying it risked boosting Islamic State (IS) extremists.
“I condemn vehemently the unilateral military offensive in Syria and I urge Turkey to put an end to it as quickly as possible,” Macron told reporters in the French city of Lyon.
“Turkey is today forgetting that the priority of the international community in Syria is the fight against Daesh and terrorism,” he said, using an alternative name for IS.
“It is creating a humanitarian risk for millions of people.”
Turkey risks “helping Daesh to rebuild its caliphate. And this responsibility is the responsibility of Turkey alone in front of the rest of the international community,” Macron said.
He was also asked to respond to a threat earlier Thursday by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to send millions of refugees in Turkey to Europe if the EU criticised the operation.
But an angry-looking Macron said that beyond his comments “I have nothing more to say on the subject”.
French officials have already been bitterly critical of the Turkish operation with Turkish ambassador Ismail Hakki Musa summoned to the foreign ministry in Paris on Thursday.
Turkey’s intervention has sparked international anger, raising fears of a new refugee crisis in northern Syria and concern that thousands of jihadists being held in Syrian Kurdish prisons could use the opportunity to escape.
The Turkish military, supported by Syrian proxies, launched the offensive against Kurdish-controlled areas in northeastern Syria on Wednesday, despite widespread international warnings.
After an initial phase of air strikes and artillery fire, troops moved across the border and attacked some of the key towns in the area.
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