Tensions between Turkey and France over French support for the Syrian Kurds on Friday became deeply ugly as Turkish officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, threatened France with a terrorist war as a result of its actions.
French President Emmanuel Macron met representatives of the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Thursday. Macron, criticized in France for not doing enough to support the Kurds against Turkey's invasion of Syria, offered to mediate the Turkish-Kurdish dispute and even send French troops to stabilize the region.
Macron's office said he "paid tribute to the victims and the crucial role of the SDF in the fight against IS," assuring the SDF that France "would support the stabilization of the security zone in northeastern Syria as part of an inclusive and balanced governance"
"Daesh" is another name for the Islamic State (ISIS) against which the Kurds bravely fought on the front lines of Syria and Iraq. Unfortunately, Turkey regards Kurdish militias in Syria as an extension of the violent PKK separatist group in Turkey and has invaded the northeast of Syria to expel the Kurds.
Some of the SDF officials who met with Macron are members of the People's Protection Units (YPG / YPJ) militia, the same organization that sees Turkey as the wing of the PKK. France and the United States are among the western nations that supported the YPG against the IS. YPG members are a big part of the SDF fighters.
As if Macron's expression of support was not enough to upset Turkey, Kurdish representative Khaled Eissa bluntly stated after the meeting that Macron was ready to Sending French Command to Fight the Turks
"There will be reinforcements to protect against attacks by the Islamic State and stop foreign aggression, and it is a message that this irresponsible action by the Islamists in Ankara is ending," Eissa said ,
This was a bit further on as the Macron government was ready to go in their own public statements, but the French president's office refuted Turkey's claims. Kurds on the SDF are in league with the PKK, talking about Macron's zeal, one Dialogue between Turks and Syrian Kurds.
According to news from Kurdistan24, Macron told the delegation from Syrian-Kurdistan that "French troops are being used very quickly to bring stability to the region and ensure that the Islamic State is in the countdown, even the least excitable Kurdish Observers wonder how French special forces can stand by and watch as Turkey attacks Kurdish positions.
Macron has expressed concern over the use of Turkey in Syria and called for Afrin's "full access to humanitarian aid to the civilian population." Turkey's response to Macron's meeting with the Syrian-Kurdish group quickly escalated into outbursts of rage and impending violence, warning both French and American forces that they could be caught in the crossfire if they disrupted Turkish operations in the region.
Turkey will not hesitate, initiative e, if terrorists in Manbij are not expelled, "reads a statement published on Erdogan's website.
Manbij is the next city in Syria that Turkish troops are likely to meet and continue to drive Kurds from the Syrian-Turkish border. In contrast to the territories attacked by the Turks, American troops are stationed in Manbij. The US government is currently sending very carefully calibrated signals to Turkey that US forces in Manbij are not looking for a fight, but are not going.
Pessimistic analysts wonder if the Trump government is signaling that it will break out of Manbij, perhaps in exchange for the Turkish assurances that they will avoid engaging anyone except the Kurdish militias who they consider the greatest threat hold. Such speculation was fueled by President Donald Trump, who surprisingly announced on Thursday that US forces "will be out of Syria very soon".
Two members of the US military coalition in Manbij were killed by a road bomb on Friday. The Associated Press notes that some local officials blame the Turks for causing trouble in the city as the prelude to an invasion.
Relations between America and Turkey in Syria are complex and nuanced, but relations between Turkey and France are becoming simple and ugly.
"Those who work with terrorist groups against Turkey and show their solidarity … will become like terrorists a target of Turkey and we hope that France will not take such an irrational step," Turkish Vice-President Bekir Bozdag said Friday.
"We do not need mediation," President Erdogan said in a Friday speech in Ankara. "We are very saddened by the wrong attitude of France."
"Since when is Turkey sitting at the table with terrorist organizations?" Erdogan snorted, referring to the Syrian Kurds. "They can sit down with terrorist organizations, but Turkey will continue its fight against terror."
"Those who receive at the highest level the members of a terrorist organization that freely carries out their activities in their countries should be aware that this is nothing but an expression of hostility to Turkey," said Erdogan of Macrons Meeting with SDF representatives.
The Turkish President added a threat of terrorist violence against France:
Anyone who goes to bed with terrorists and even welcomes them in their palaces will sooner or later see the mistake they have made. We hope that they will not dare to seek our help when France flees terrorists fleeing Syria and Iraq after being encouraged by French politics.
Erdogan justified his tough talk against France on the assumption that Macron was out of his mind. 1
At a meeting of his AKP party on Friday, Erdogan insisted that Turkey continue military operations against Kurdish "militants" in Syria, adding that he might consider sending troops "suddenly" to Sinjar Province "The government is stepping up its efforts to neutralize the PKK units in Sinjar and assuring that Turkey will not trade in the region without Baghdad's permission.
The PKK's furious fighters attacked the Turks and seized a military base in the region Southeast of Turkey and killed six soldiers on Thursday or Friday, the time line of the attack is currently unclear.