FSA members lash out at Macron over his YPG remarks

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ANKARA
Published 25.12.2018 23:37
Updated 26.12.2018 08:00

The Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) has slammed French President Emmanuel Macron's supportive remarks for the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, following the U.S. announcement of withdrawal from the country.

"Supporting the YPG is weakening France, a country that defends freedom and peace," Abu Ahmad Nur, Damascus front commander of the FSA, told Anadolu Agency (AA) yesterday.

He added that they will keep their promise of liberating their homeland from the terrorists; ensure stability and security so that displaced Syrians can return home.

Saif Abu Bakr, the commander of the Hamza Division, on Monday said, once the FSA clears Daesh and the PKK from the east of the Euphrates, people will understand how Macron's remarks were "meaningless."

Earlier Monday, Macron criticized U.S. President Donald Trump over his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria. He said that "an ally must be dependable." Macron added that the YPG was an important element in the fight against Daesh and called on everyone not to forget what they owe to the YPG.

France has reportedly been looking to takeover U.S. role in northern Syria by providing military and diplomatic support to PKK-affiliated groups in the war-torn country.

Meanwhile, the two co-chairs of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is mainly dominated by the YPG, were in Paris over the weekend to discuss the U.S. withdrawal from Syria with French officials. Both failed to meet Macron as they were not given an appointment but met France's Syria representative, François Senemand.

In March, however, Macron had met the leaders of the YPG and expressed his support for the group in northern Syria, pledging to send troops to Manbij.

France maintains at least five military bases in northern Syria, controlled by the YPG. Coming forth and back from Iraq, more than 100 soldiers, including members of the French Special Forces, are also working with the YPG.

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