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

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Syria

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.”

Comments

 
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
Tags : Afrin
1839 Views

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

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

What You Say

Salim | 5/18/2018 3:44:21 PM
Rudaw make report about date industry in Kurdistan. Here in Europe we just see dates from Tunesia and no from Kurdistan or Iraq even though it have a...
Stewee Guy
Stewee Guy | 5/21/2018 2:25:11 AM
Looks to me Rudaw is run by the Muslim Brotherhood. There is million issues to talk about in Kurdistan other than Ramadan. BTY I never met an Arab...
Iftar dates: a sweet way to break the Ramadan fast
| 17/5/2018 | (2)
Azad | 5/19/2018 8:19:59 AM
Women covering themselves are much better than half naked women presenting their body to everyone like western women do.
Outsider | 5/21/2018 1:27:14 AM
BTW... if a woman wants to "cover" herself or not, its her personal decision... either way, it does make her a better, more inteligent or trustworthy...
Kurdish journalist awarded as human rights defender
| 18/5/2018 | (3)
Zero | 5/21/2018 12:58:53 AM
This is the beginning of the end of a century long plot against the Kurds. With gods help.
US trying to move forward after quitting Iran nuclear deal
| 19/5/2018 | (1)
pete | 5/19/2018 9:52:19 AM
God bless the heroes of the PKK, the World supports you against Turkish fascism and nationalist cave dwellers in Iraq.
Trinity | 5/21/2018 12:49:27 AM
Peace talks? The only thing the Turks are concerned about is how to end their miserable life on earth and they stirring people up hoping those will...
PKK peace talks not on Erdogan’s agenda, says spokesperson
| 18/5/2018 | (5)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

McGurk expected in Sulaimani to persuade parties to participate in Baghdad 3 hours ago |

McGurk expected in Sulaimani to persuade parties to participate in Baghdad

they will welcome the US official and listen more
Sadr calls for swift government transition in meeting with Amiri 14 hours ago |

Sadr calls for swift government transition in meeting with Amiri

Sadr’s Sayirun election alliance secured 54 seats more
KDP seeks talks with Kurdish parties before sending delegation to Baghdad 14 hours ago |

KDP seeks talks with Kurdish parties before sending delegation to Baghdad

"We will start talks with the other parties of more
0.203 seconds