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Syrian Kurdish leaders due in Paris to discuss US pullout

By AFP 20/12/2018
French President Emmanuel Macron gestures during a press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on December 17, 2018. Photo: Benoit Tessier/AFP
French President Emmanuel Macron gestures during a press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on December 17, 2018. Photo: Benoit Tessier/AFP
PARIS - Two top political leaders of the Syrian Kurdish alliance battling the Islamic State group are to visit Paris on Friday for talks on the planned US military withdrawal from Syria, an alliance representative said.

"The two co-chairs of the Syrian Democratic Council (MSD) Riad Darar and Ilham Ahmed are expected in Paris," said Khaled Issa, referring to the political arm of the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

French President Emmanuel Macron's office confirmed that Kurdish representatives would hold talks in Paris, though it was not immediately known at what level.

The discussions will focus on Turkish threats to intervene against the Kurdish militia that dominates the Western-backed SDF, US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw all 2,000 US soldiers from Syria, and talks on ending the war, Issa said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday said he was determined to root out Kurdish fighters from northern Syria, which borders on Turkey, if their US sponsors failed to convince them to withdraw of their own accord.

"Erdogan is going to do everything possible to occupy this region, putting our population in danger but also the security of Europe," Khaled Issa said.

Syrian Kurdish forces said Thursday they would stop fighting the Islamic State in eastern Syria if they come under Turkish attack.

France, which is part of the US-led coalition that has been working with the SDF to try flush ISIS out of Syria, "shares the concern of the Kurdish-Arab forces", an aide to Macron said, referring to a possible Turkish offensive.

France wants "clarifications" from Washington on how and when US troops will be withdrawn from Syria, the aide added.

The future of the international anti-ISIS coalition can only be decided once "we know what the calendar and terms" of the withdrawal is, the aide added.

Macron telephoned Trump on Tuesday after hearing he was about to announce the withdrawal, the advisor said.

He urged him "not to give up", adding that the fight against Islamic State was not over and that he needed to take into account "the consequences on our partners on the ground."


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Hama | 20/12/2018
What shortsighted western leaders fail to realize is that isolating yourself from the region and leaving it at mercy of controversial and even evil leaders will only create new refugee crisis and mass immigration problems for Europe. If you don't protect people in their own country, they will flee to your country. And of course if you allow evil people to take over the region then you are creating the perfect cocktail for terrorism to flourish and as we all know this terrorism will spread to Europe and America. Even if you don't care about other people outside your own borders, you should be active and protect their lives for your own selfish reasons. It doesn't take alot. But will west do this? No. They will leave millions to be persecuted and slaughtered only to complain when immigrants reach Europe or when a new terrorist attack takes place. No effort though to prevent these problems at their root.
Stop fighting | 20/12/2018
My advise for the PYD/SDF is to drop all ideologies,abandon the pictures of Ocalan and the flags of PKK , all those signes and emblemes that attract and stoke the Turkish fury.PKK must stop fighting Turkey because the Kurds are the only losers in this war as they have no external support.Otherwise,it is suicide and destruction. War against Turkey is calamitous and ill-fated.Stop fighting ,the sooner the better.You have lost Afrin to Turkey, stop fighting and save Kobani and other places to avoid any greater disaster.
pre-Boomer Marine brat | 20/12/2018
The problem is that Trump has little experience or interest in the practice of politics, and ZERO ability in the art of statesmanship. He is a businessman accustomed to being able to get out of a jam by declaring Chapter 11 or 7, and then go on his merry way ... It's not really any fault of his. That's merely the level to which America's popular culture has sunk over the past 60 years.
pre-Boomer Marine brat | 21/12/2018
Mattis is resigning, effective February.
Dutchman | 21/12/2018
If the other 50+ US partners in the coalition want it, those two thousand American advisors will be easily replaced. War criminals Erdohan, Putin, Assad and Khameny were applausing after Trumps stupid decision, but they laught to early. The coalition, formarly US led, will stay on the ground. And no Turkish or Russian plane can stop the US air force and the whole free world flying over Syria. All good people love the YPG.

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