No plans for military op in Syria: French source

By Hajer M'tiri

PARIS (AA) – France does not anticipate any new military operations in northern Syria beyond international coalition activities against Daesh, French media reported Friday, citing a presidential source.

The source added that France sees a risk of resurgence of Daesh terrorists in northeast Syria.

Following French President Emanuel Macron’s Thursday meeting in the Elysee Palace with a PYD/PKK-led SDF delegation, several French media outlets reported that France promised to send troops to Manbij, Syria to support the SDF, a group dominated by the terrorist PYD/PKK.

The French presidency had earlier said in a statement that Macron hopes “a dialogue can be established between the SDF and Turkey with help from France and the international community, ” an offer immediately denounced by Ankara.

The French leader claimed the SDF had “no operational link with this terrorist group” — meaning the PKK — but the SDF is dominated by PYD/PKK forces, as Ankara has demonstrated.

The statement also said Macron recalled “France’s commitment against the PKK and its commitment to the security of Turkey”.

However, as Turkey has documented, the PYD/PKK and SDF are actually the Syrian branches of the terrorist PKK, recognized by Turkey, France, and the EU as a terrorist group.

In its 30-year terrorist campaign against Turkey, the PKK has taken some 40,000 lives, and Ankara has warned against international actors cooperating with such groups as the PYD/PKK, YPG/PKK, and SDF/PKK, as they are just the PKK under different names.

Deputy Premier Bekir Bozdag tweeted earlier on Friday that the French statement meant “open support for terrorism, terror groups, and terrorists; an attempt to legalize terrorist groups; and clear cooperation and solidarity with the terror groups attacking Turkey”.

Bozdag said Turkey remains determined to fight terrorist groups, adding that those who forge friendship with such groups would end up losing Turkey’s friendship.