Turkey slams Macron for hosting Syrian Democratic Forces representatives
Turkey on Friday condemned a meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) saying it provided legitimacy to the extensions of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
Ankara sees the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which dominates the SDF, as the Syrian extension of the PKK, which has been designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the European Union, and the United States.
“This attempt that aims to provide pseudo legitimacy to the extensions of the terrorist organisation is an utterly wrong step which does not comply with the spirit of alliance,” Turkish foreign ministry said in a written statement in relation to the meeting in Paris.
The YPG forms the backbone of the U.S.-led coalition fighting against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and has played a crucial role in clearing the last pocket of territory in northeastern part of the country controlled by the group in March.
Macron assured on Friday the SDF representatives, who were not named, of the "active support of France in the fight against Daesh which continues to be a menace for collective security," the presidency said in a statement, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS, France 24 reported.
The French president also vowed to allocate financial support for the humanitarian needs and the stabilisation efforts in northeast Syria.
Since late November, Turkish officials have repeatedly said that Turkey plans to launch a military operation in northeast Syria to clear the territories along the Turkish border off the YPG fighters.
“We once again remind the importance of not allowing the promotion of agendas targeting Syria’s political unity and territorial integrity, and that Turkey will not refrain from taking steps it finds necessary to ensure its national security,” Turkish foreign ministry said.