French soldiers increase YPG support in Syria

Published 21.05.2018 00:00

French special forces have established six artillery batteries along Syria's border with Iraq, which are controlled by PKK-affiliated groups, according to local sources.

According to Anadolu Agency (AA), the sources indicated that the batteries were established in the north of Baguz village of Deir ez-Zor province. They also fired some shots, added the sources.

French troops have recently increased their presence in some areas in Syria including Manbij, al-Hasakah, Ayn Issa and Raqqah that are controlled by the People's Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian offshoot of PKK, which is designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union, United Kingdom and the United States. Earlier this month, a senior figure from the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group dominated by the YPG, said that 50 French soldiers had arrived in northern Syria's Manbij a short while ago and are now building a military base in the northern part of the province. Also, approximately 250 French soldiers are reportedly active in regions that are under the control of the SDF in northern Syria.

In March, leaders of the SDF met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris. In relation to France's attitude toward the YPG, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has warned the country of not abetting terrorism.

The PKK has been waging a wide-ranging terror campaign against the Turkish state since the mid-1980s, in which an estimated 40,000 people have been killed.

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