After French President Emmanuel Macron slammed the planned US withdrawal of troops from Syria, pledging continued support for US-backed Kurdish fighters, Turkey has warned France against trying to defend the militia.
“We have no information that they have sent additional troops to Syria, but they said they will continue their presence there,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, per Hurriyet Daily News.
“What we have told them is that it’s okay if they are there to contribute to the future of Syria but if they are doing to protect the YPG it will be futile,” Cavusoglu stressed.
Cavusoglu was referring to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), considered a terrorist group along with other associated Kurdish militias by the Turkish government.
Last week, after an order from US President Donald Trump to withdraw all US combat personnel from Syria – a move that prompted the resignation of his top defense official – France’s president said he deeply regretted the decision.
“To be allies is to fight shoulder to shoulder. It’s the most important thing for a head of state and head of the military. An ally should be dependable,” he said, according to Reuters.
Macron’s administration has reportedly expressed support for the Kurds and said France had no plans as of yet to remove troops who are there as part of a US-led coalition.