Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment


Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using





French FM warns Turkey against war in Afrin

By Rudaw 7/2/2018
Wounded civilians receive treatment in Afrin Hospital last week. Photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP
Wounded civilians receive treatment in Afrin Hospital last week. Photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – France’s foreign minister told Ankara to not worsen the situation in Syria and, condemning civilian casualties, called Turkey’s military operation in Afrin a violation of international law. 

“One can understand that Turkey wants to ensure the security of its borders, it’s a legitimate right, but ensuring the security of its borders does not mean killing civilians,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told France’s BFM TV. 

He warned against “adding war to war” in Syria, noting that ISIS is not yet defeated in the country. 

Le Drian urged a political solution to address Turkey’s border security concerns.

International law is being violated in Syria by Turkey, Damascus, and Iran, he said, highlighting worsening violence in eastern Ghouta and Idlib. 

France’s President Emmanuel Macron had earlier said Turkey must limit its intervention to fighting terrorism and should respect Syria's sovereignty.

"If it turned out that this operation had to take another turn than an action to fight against a potential terror threat at the Turkish border, and that it was an invasion operation, at that moment, this operation would pose a real problem for us," said Macron in a January 31 interview with French newspaper Le Figaro.

Macron spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by telephone on Sunday. Both parties agreed to work on a "diplomatic road map" aimed at ending the nearly seven-year-long Syrian civil war, Macron’s office said in a statement on Sunday.

Erdogan tried to reassure Macron that Turkey's recent operation in Afrin was aimed against "terror elements," state-run Anadolu reported, citing unnamed sources from the Turkish presidency.

Turkey is under increasing international pressure to curtail its offensive on the Kurdish enclave Afrin in northwest Syria.

Following the downing of a Russian SU-25 warplane on Saturday, the Syrian regime has reportedly sent its anti-aircraft system to the north of the country, covering an area that includes Afrin.

This move appears to have affected Turkey’s operation. Turkey has not conducted airstrikes in Afrin in the last couple of days, Rudaw’s correspondent on the Afrin-Turkey border, Shawkat Harki, reported. 

Reduced distances between Kurdish positions and the frontlines of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) militias, as well as the presence of Turkish military experts in Afrin may also be contributing to the suspension of airstrikes, Harki reported. 

Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on January 20 against the Kurdish enclave of Afrin, which has been secured by the mainly Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) since the withdrawal of Syrian regime force in 2012.

Erdogan has threatened to extend the operation eastward towards Manbij, where the United States has forces, and as far as the Iraqi border.

The United States and the global anti-ISIS coalition have said they do not intend to withdraw their forces from Manbij, despite Turkey’s demands they do so.

Ankara considers the Kurdish groups in Rojava, northern Syria, terrorists and is irate about the support offered to them by the US for the war against ISIS in the country. 

The coalition’s commanding general, Lt. Gen Paul E. Funk, visited Manbij on Wednesday, coalition spokesperson Col. Ryan Dillon tweeted.

SDF: Turkey targeting civilian infrastructure

Fighting continued in Afrin on Wednesday with the YPG-led SDF claiming that Turkish forces and their FSA proxies have targeted civilian infrastructure. 

In Maydanki village, a town 12 kilometres north of Afrin city and home to an important dam, the SDF said Turkey and the FSA targeted a primary school, a water treatment station, and civilian homes. 

The water treatment station provides drinking water to Afrin city. The SDF stated that maintenance teams are repairing damage due to “random shelling” by Turkey and the FSA. 

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 123 YPG fighters have been killed and 149 members of the FSA and Turkish forces since January 20.

Afrin health officials say more than 140 civilians have been killed and another 310 injured, Oxfam reported on Monday.

The United Nations Security Council will hold a closed door meeting on Thursday to discuss a UN call for an immediate ceasefire across Syria for at least one month to allow for humanitarian access.

One area of concern for the UN is Afrin, where civilians are “virtually trapped.”

Under growing international pressure, Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) published a statement in English on Twitter – an account that rarely tweets in English. 

The TAF repeated previous assertions that its Operation Olive Branch is justified under international law and UN Security Council resolutions. 

It also addressed “disinformation campaigns.”

“Necessary measures are being taken with utmost care and sensitivity in order not to harm civilian/innocent people and the environment,” TAF tweeted. “Civilian and innocent people are definitely not being targeted.”


duroi | 7/2/2018
Erdogan is clueless about the EU. EU put pressure on Turkey to eliminate the death penalty, for Mr Erdogan to go wild like a vicious animal killing hundreds of innocent civilians and children in 2 weeks, using NATO armament and his Jihadist militias take videos of mutilating the victims, because they speak Kurdish? Erdogan is looked at as the blood thirsty one-eyed monster, Polyphemus, who is currently in charge of EU bridge to Asia and with him in charge, Turkey remains the sick man of Europe, the dreaded Cyclops.
SAVE THE KURDS | 7/2/2018
The very brave Kurds who defeated the teror ISIL , are being now massacred by the criminal and racist Turkish state. The UNSC must decree an immediate and permanent cease fire , stop Turkish agression and declare Kurdish territories as a safe heaven
Álmosd4285 | 8/2/2018
Erdogan wants gain new Land for Turkey using ex ISIL fighters.He deosnt want ISIL to loose as Turkey economy now depends on war business

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

FAUthman | 12/22/2018 1:21:49 AM
Not good news! very bad news in fact. Now US needs to reconsider the decision by the ass in the White House!"According to political sources in...
IranMan | 1/23/2019 2:51:12 AM
@Azad, "US pullout is a complete surrender to Iran" "Even low number of 2000 troops was contrary to his goal of containing Iran." "Used to be "oh...
US pullout strengthens Iran 'land bridge': analysts
| 21/12/2018 | (4)
kurd | 1/22/2019 11:28:38 PM
Russia has always been friend of thugs and dictators.
PolandIran | 1/23/2019 12:23:28 AM
WTF does Poland have anything to do with Iran?
Russia won’t attend US-Poland ‘anti-Iran’ summit
| yesterday at 07:18 | (3)
Desert Storm | 1/22/2019 7:33:27 PM
This article magically vanished from the front page, did Erdogans silent parter make a phone call?
OP | 1/22/2019 11:40:11 PM
Can Rudaw kindly limit the comments? some people are writing essays in here! comments are suppuse to be a sentence or two, 4-5 short sentences MAX. I...
McGurk laments Turkey’s ‘fundamental’ difference with coalition in ISIS fight
| yesterday at 09:58 | (11)
kurdo | 1/22/2019 9:28:52 AM
woman can have right when dogs drive cars, never. last 5 years made me become anti kurdish and people like me can damage kurds more because i know...
habib ipswich | 1/22/2019 10:36:14 PM
dont fool urself with these fancy dreams. you are as good as the daily bread and butter you put on the table. everything else is weehoo haahoo...
Women key to achieving gender equality in Kurdistan
| 20/1/2019 | (9)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

SDF cuts ISIS path to Iraq by taking al-Baghouz town 14 hours ago |

SDF cuts ISIS path to Iraq by taking al-Baghouz town

It was the last town ISIS held in Syria that more
Head of UN team to investigate ISIS crimes to meet with Sistani 16 hours ago |

Head of UN team to investigate ISIS crimes to meet with Sistani

Khan and his team will start their investigations more
0.313 seconds