Monday 16 September 2019

Turkey brands French president’s warning about Syria ‘invasion’ an insult

Emmanuel Macron had warned Ankara against launching an “invasion operation” in Afrin.

A Turkish motorcyclist drives on the outskirts of the border with Syria (AP)
A Turkish motorcyclist drives on the outskirts of the border with Syria (AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

Turkey has fired back after France’s president warned the government against invading a Kurdish enclave in Syria, calling his remarks an “insult”.

Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said France is in no position to “teach a lesson” to Turkey over its cross-border offensive, referring to past French military interventions in Algeria and other parts of Africa.

His comments were in response to remarks by French president Emmanuel Macron, who warned Turkey against an “invasion operation”.

Turkey launched the offensive against the Afrin enclave on January 20 to drive out the Syrian Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG), a militia it says is an extension of the outlawed Kurdish rebels fighting inside Turkey.

Mr Cavusoglu said France understood that Turkey was fighting “terrorists” and did not aim to invade Afrin.

Meanwhile, in Syria, Turkish troops and allied Syrian forces have reportedly cleared Syrian Kurdish fighters out of another village in Afrin.

The Anadolu agency said the combined forces took control of the village Ali Kar, in the northern tip of the enclave.

A total of 27 “locations” in Afrin — 20 villages and seven mountains or hills — have been brought under Turkish control since January 20.

PA Media

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