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Syria War: The Turkish Erdogan rejects the French mediation offer



  French President Emmanuel Macron and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan

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AFP

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rejected Emanuel Macron's appeal for dialogue between Turkey and the Kurds

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rejected France's offer to mediate in northern Syria and said he was "sad" about his position.

"We do not need mediation," he said. "We are very saddened by the … wrong attitude of France."

Turkey is fighting to expel the Kurdish YPG militia, which sees it as an extension of the banned Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK).

In a speech in Ankara, Erdogan refuted French demand for dialogue

"Since when is Turkey sitting at the table with terrorist organizations?" he said. "They can sit down with terrorist organizations, but Turkey will continue its fight against terror."

France says the YPG has no direct organizational links with the PKK, which calls Turkey the Kurds as a terrorist group?

  • Why the Battle for Northern Syria is Important
  • On Friday, a Erdogan spokesman said that countries should take a "clear stance against all forms of terrorism".

    "We reject any efforts to promote" dialogue, "" contact, "or" mediation "between Turkey and these terrorist organizations," the spokesman said.

    What is behind the French offer?

    President Emmanuel Macron had met members of the Kurdish Democratic Forces of Syria (SDF), including the YPG, and expressed hopes for a dialogue between Turkey and the militia.

    His office said he had "paid tribute to the victims and the crucial role" of the SDF in the fight against the IS group

    • Why is there a war in Sy? tom?
    • Why is Turkey targeting Kurdish forces? Short, medium and long history

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    AFP

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    Syrian opposition fighters supported by Turkey in Afrin

    The SDF is an important US ally in the fight against IS and the Kurdish YPG forms a core part of it.

    France and the USA gave arms and training to the militia in support of their fight against the IS.

    The president said that France would support the "stabilization" of the security zone in northeastern Syria to rebuild ISIS.

    Kurdish officials said Macron had committed to send more troops to the area, but Paris declined to comment

    France has suffered a series of deadly terrorist attacks that IS has called for in recent years, including the attacks of Paris, who killed 1

    30 people in 2015.

    A week ago, an IS sympathizer killed three people in a killing spree in southern France, including a policeman who died after swapping places with a hostage.

    How dangerous is the conflict in northern Syria?

    Earlier this month, Turkey displaced Kurdish fighters from the Syrian-Kurdish city of Afrin. Activists said that 280 civilians were killed, although Ankara refused.

    A quarter of a million civilians are said to have fled the city.

    Media playback is not supported on your device

    Media Caption Footage shows destroyed statues and flags in the center of Afrin
    • How Afrin became a worthy prize

    Turkey then threatened to control SDF-controlled The city of Manbij, which was taken from the IS in 2016 – and where the US troops have stationed.

    The Turkish Security Council issued an ultimatum on Wednesday and said it would act if Kurdish fighters did not leave immediately.

    Elsewhere in Syria, Turkey said five soldiers were killed Seven injured in an attack by the PKK in the southeastern province of Siirt

    The killing of the PKK for months is likely to be a revenge for the Turkish offensive in northern Syria BBC correspondent Mark Lowen reports.


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