Kurdistan
French troops enter SYRIA from Iraq 'in support of Kurdish forces'

 French troops enter SYRIA from Iraq 'in support of Kurdish forces'


The French servicemen relocated on Thursday,

The French servicemen relocated on Thursday, according to the agency citing Syrian sources.

French soldiers have repeatedly crossed the Syrian-Iraqi border and have even participated in operations bear Syrian cities Manbij, Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor, the media outlet said.

The forces are stationed at five military bases in the areas controlled by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

President Emmanuel Macron met with a delegation of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) last month and assured the alliance of France’s support in the stabilisation in northeastern Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in response: “If the remark by the French Presidency that ‘we can mediate between Turkey and the SDF’ is true, it far exceeds the capacity of the person who said it.”

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After the meeting a senior Kurdish official said France will send more troops to northern Syria.

Turkey is currently engaged in an aggressive campaign to remove the Kurdish YPG - which is the armed wing of the SDF - from Afrin, northern Syria.

Ankara considers the YPG to be terrorists, but the group are US allies in the fight against ISIS and are not considered terrorists in Western countries.

French military personnel have met with the leaders and have even provided weapons and military equipment, according to sources cited by Anadolu Agency.

Turkey considers the YPG to be terrorists

The source added that more than 70 French Special Force units are currently deployed in the city of yn al-Arab (Kobani) in Syria’s northern Aleppo province in the fight against ISIS.

French forces are said to be conducting field operations alongside the YPG.

The news comes as Turkey and the US have agreed on a roadmap on Syria to “avoid potential confrontation” between the two allies, according to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.

It was announced after a meeting with the new US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Brussels during a NATO summit.

Çavuşoğlu told reporters after his meeting: “In our meeting we confirmed approval of a roadmap on which our joint working group has reached an initial agreement.

“We will implement the Manbij model in other parts of Syria, particularly east of the Euphrates.

 

“We’ll therefore be taking a step with the US on an issue that causes tension in our bilateral ties.

“If the roadmap is implemented, the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units will be withdrawn from Manbij.

“Otherwise we’ll have to intervene against the terrorists just like we did in Afrin.”

The Turkish Minister added: “If this roadmap is implemented... the YPG will be withdrawn from Manbij and a transparent process will