France cen­sures Turkey for Syria med­dling

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

FRENCH Pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande has crit­i­cised Turkey for ex­pand­ing its mil­i­tary in­ter­ven­tion in Syria, say­ing the ac­tion would es­ca­late the sit­u­a­tion in the Arab coun­try.

Speak­ing to a meet­ing with the di­plo­matic corps in Paris yes­ter­day, Hol­lande said Turkey’s mil­i­tary at­tacks against Syr­ian Kurds, who have been fight­ing Daesh and other Tak­firi ter­ror­ist groups in north­ern Syria, com­pli­cates the sit­u­a­tion on the ground.

“These mul­ti­ple, con­tra­dic­tory in­ter­ven­tions carry the risk of a wider con­fla­gra­tion,” Hol­lande said, call­ing for an “ab­so­lutely ur­gent” halt to fight­ing.

The French pres­i­dent said Syria “has been liv­ing a ter­ri­ble tragedy for the past five years,” say­ing es­ca­lated fight­ing around the north­west­ern city of Aleppo has cre­ated a “large-scale hu­man­i­tar­ian catas­tro­phe.”

Hol­lande, how­ever, de­scribed as “per­fectly un­der­stand­able” Turkey’s con­cerns for de­fend­ing it­self against Daesh af­ter a series of at­tacks in the coun­try and the surg­ing vi­o­lence hit­ting its south­ern bor­ders.

Turkey’s mil­i­tary in­ter­ven­tion in Syria be­gan last week af­ter an at­tack hit a wed­ding cer­e­mony in the city of Gaziantep near the Syr­ian bor­der. Over 50 peo­ple were killed in the at­tack, which was blamed on Daesh. The mil­i­tary oper­a­tion has also tar­geted Kur­dish fight­ers of the Peo­ple’s Pro­tec­tion Units (YPG), which Ankara says has links to the Kur­dis­tan Work­ers’ Party (PKK) mil­i­tant group.

Sources in north­ern Syria said at least 40 civil­ians were killed on Sun­day in Turkey’s shelling and airstrikes. Ankara re­jected the claims, say­ing its of­fen­sive tar­geted YPG po­si­tions that day and killed 25 Kur­dish “ter­ror­ists.”

Both YPG and Turkey en­joy sup­port of the United States in the al­leged fight against Daesh and other Tak­firi groups in Syria. The gov­ern­ment in Da­m­as­cus is op­posed to the US-backed op­er­a­tions, say­ing they vi­o­late the Arab coun­try’s sovereignty. — PressTV.

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