France increases military support to YPG/PKK in northern Syria

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

The French military is increasing its presence in northern Syria, with French soldiers spotted in at least five areas occupied by the terrorist PKK-linked People's Protection Units (YPG), a report said Friday.

According to Anadolu Agency, more than 100 French special forces have been observed in the towns of Sarrrin and Ayn Issa, as well as the strategic Mishtanur Hill and at the U.S. air base in Harab-Isk, near the French Lafarge cement plant.

To the south in Raqqa, more than 30 French troops are also stationed alongside YPG.

French and U.S. troops in the region are reportedly carrying out field operations with the YPG terrorists.

On June 9, 2016, The French Press Association (AFP) reported that French special forces had been stationed in areas controlled by the YPG, showing the French defense ministry as their source.

In addition to special forces, France's First Marine Infantry Paratroopers Infantry Regiment (1 RPIMA) and the 10th Parachute Commando (CPA 10) forces also operate in the region.

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Though on the record, these troops are supposedly stationed in northern Iraq, they often cross the border into northern Syria. Locals told AA that in the past three days, border crossings into Syria by French troops have increased.

The reports come one day after French President Emmanuel Macron vowed increased political support to the YPG and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern Syria during a meeting with the leaders of the terror groups.

The French presidency statement after the meeting said that Macron hopes "a dialogue can be established between the SDF and Turkey with help from France and the international community."

Meanwhile, leaders of the terrorist group told Reuters that France promised to send troops to northern Syria's Manbij to support the SDF after Thursday's meeting.

Turkey has vowed to take initiative to drive YPG and SDF forces out of Manbij if the U.S. does not keep its promises to withdraw the terrorist group and stop arming them.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday strongly condemned Macron's statements.

"Turkey is very saddened by France's completely wrong approach regarding Syria," Erdoğan said, adding that the remarks of suggesting intermediation between Turkey and the YPG-dominated SDF, if true, were "far beyond one's limit."

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu held a phone call with his French counterpart French counterpart Jean Yves Le Drian on Friday.

"I asked French Foreign Minister Le Drian what they would think if President Erdoğan hosted the leaders of a terror group that attacked France in the Presidential Palace in Ankara," Çavuşoğlu said at a news conference later in the day, noting that PKK terror has led to the deaths of more than 40,000 people in Turkey.

French construction company Lafarge opened a cement plant in northern Syria in 2010.

Beginning in the second year of the civil war, the company bribed the Daesh terrorist group for one and a half years in order to continue its activities there.

Later, U.S.-funded YPG terrorists seized and began using the factory as a base.

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