CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS: French troops are growing in northern Syria

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MANBIJ, Syria – French troops are currently deploying five military bases in northern Syria in the area controlled by the forces of Washington-backed and Kurdish-led SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) as reported by Turkish state news agency Anadolu.

According to Turkish media, more than 70 members of the French Special Forces are at the Lafarge cement factory near Mistanur Hill and Harab-Isk.

In fact, they say that even 30 executives are working from Raqqa. The 1st Marine Parachutist Constitution and the 10th Parachutist Unit are also operating in the area.

Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) are the core of the SDF. Ankara describes YPG as a terrorist group and as the Syrian arm of the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Turkey recently launched a large-scale military operation against the YPG in the north of Syria and captured the YPG-held Afrin region.

All this comes just 24 hours after the rupture between Ankara and Paris’s relations and the reception of President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysées Palace with the political and military delegation of the Syrian Kurds and the Arab-Kurdish alliance.

According to the French “Le Monde,” this decision by the French presidency “is a crucial move and a decisive shift in the involvement of the French agent on the Kurdish Syrian front.”

The reaction was immediate and the headlines of the Turkish newspapers expressed Ankara’s anger with titles such as “Movement-scandal” in “Hürriyet” or “Crisis: France sends an army to Manbij” of “Milliyet”.

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After Erdogan’s “cuff” against Macron in Paris yesterday it was announced that France does not plan to conduct a military operation in northern Syria outside the international coalitions fight against the Islamic State.

This clarification was made on the following statements made by Kurdish officials after meeting with President Emmanuel Macron, according to which Paris is also about to send “new troops” to northern Syria.

“France does not envisage a new military operation on the field in northern Syria outside of the international coalition against the Islamic State,” the French Presidency underlined.

Indeed, the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, launched a violent attack on France, calling France’s move to mediate between Turkey and the Syrian Democratic Forces as a  “wrong approach” .

“I would like to stress that I was very much disappointed by France’s completely wrong approach to this issue,”  the Turkish president said.  “Who are you talking about mediation between Turkey and a terrorist organization?” he questioned.

Addressing Emmanuel Macron, Erdogan said: “Who assigned you this duty? Who told you to get involved in those things that are bigger than yours? “

Translated from Crash Magazine Online.

 

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