Macron out of his depth, says Turkey

Marsha Scott
April 2, 2018

But Macron's office on Friday said Paris was not planning any new military operation on the ground in northern Syria outside the worldwide coalition against the Daesh extremist group. Past year it compared the German and Dutch authorities to Nazis for restricting pro-Erdogan demonstrations during a campaign for a referendum to give him greater powers.

"If it's accurate, the statement on mediation between Turkey and SDF amounts to crossing the line", President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday. But Macron's office on Friday said the government isn't planning operations separate from the USA -led coalition.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said the French stance was setting Paris on a collision course with Ankara.

"Who are you to mediate between Turkey and terror groups?" "We hope France doesn't take such an irrational step".

Macron met an SDF delegation on Thursday and gave assurances of French support to stabilise northern Syria.

"France does not foresee any new military operation on the ground in northern Syria outside of the global coalition's fight against Islamic State", the Elysee source added.

Turkey itself sent troops into Syria and launched an operation against the YPG militia in its Afrin enclave on January 20 and drove out the group from the city on March 18.

The Afrin operation has already drawn global criticism, notably from Macron. Activists said 280 civilians had been killed, although this was denied by Ankara.

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Two senior U.S. administration officials on Friday said Trump has told advisers he wants an early exit of United States troops from Syria.

It is believed that the France are taking over, or at least offering to take over the USA role in Syria.

French President Emmanuel Macron raised Turkey's ire by meeting in Paris with Syrian rebels, including Kurdish fighters that Turkey considers terrorists. The SDF is dominated by Syrian Kurds though it also includes Arab forces.

"Our work and coordination (with the coalition) is continuing", Gabriel told Reuters in a written message.

Meanwhile, in an apparent reaction and warning to Paris, the state-run Anadolu news agency, published a map detailing the location of French military bases in northern Syria.

Mr Erdogan, whose country is a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally of France, said in Ankara: "Don't get into things that are out of your depth".

Turkish presidential spokesman and diplomatic adviser to French president spoke over the phone on Friday.

"He was saying weird things and so, even if it was a bit high-octane, I had to tell him some things", Erdogan said.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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