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Kurds calls on France to take bigger role in Syria after US exit

December 22, 2018 at 1:40 pm

US forces and members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) patrol the Kurdish-held town of Al-Darbasiyah in northeastern Syria bordering Turkey on 4 November 2018 [DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images]

The Kurdish co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council, Ilham Ahmed, has called on France to take a bigger role in Syria after the exit of US forces.

Speaking in Paris, Ahmed warned that Kurdish forces might not be able to deal with the large number of Daesh prisoners after the withdrawal of the US troops, AP reported yesterday. Ahmed also expressed fear that Turkey might carry out attacks, which could stop the battle against Daesh groups in Syria, noting that France and NATO have a “moral obligation” to prevent Turkey from carrying out attacks against the Kurds.

“We are asking the French for diplomatic support to develop dialogue and assure peace and stability in the region,” France 24 reported Ahmed as saying. “We also ask that [French] forces uphold their task in the region until a political solution is found,” she added.

READ: Trump Syria pullout ‘blow’ to Tel Aviv: Israeli experts

Turkey views the People’s Protection Units (YPG) – the main component of the Syrian Democratic Forces – as a terrorist group and an extension of the insurgency within its borders, according to AP. Discussing the US decision to withdraw from Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday said the shock move had forced Turkey to delay its previous plans for an operation against US-backed Kurdish militia east of the Euphrates river.

French Defence Minister, Florence Parly, slammed US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria as “grave”. At the same time, she hailed the decision of US Secretary of Defence James Mattis, who quit his position following Trump’s decision.

READ: Trump’s Syria withdrawal condemned by coalition members, SDF