According to a statement released on Thursday from the Elysee Palace, after a meeting with a delegation made up of representatives of the Arab and Kurdish populations in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron assured the leadership of the Syrian Democratic Forces of France’s support.
“The President of the Republic mentioned that, following the adoption of Security Council Resolution 2401, France clearly expressed its concern over the situation in the area of Afrin and demanded that the peaceful population be given unhindered access to humanitarian assistance,” said the statement from the Elysee Palace. “He assured the Syrian Democratic Forces of France’s support, especially as regards the stabilization of the security zone in the northeast of Syria,” the communique said. According to the president, this is necessary in order to “prevent any revival of the terrorist group ISIS.”
Macron, as the presidential administration reported, “spoke in favor of establishing, with the assistance of France and the world community, a dialogue between the Syrian Democratic Forces and Turkey.”
The President of the Republic pointed out that “France will continue, together with the countries concerned, to promote a comprehensive political settlement in Syria that will bring peace in Syria and ensure security in the region in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.”
The newspaper Le Parisien, citing as its source a Kurdish representative, said that at a meeting with the delegation of the Syrian Democratic Forces, Makron promised to send Special Forces to Manbij. According to the source, the French forces, the number of which was not stated, will be sent to the area in the near future. As the newspaper stated, “the purpose of such help is to stop the advance of the Turkish army in the region.”
“France also pledged to help the Kurdish population who left Afrin to return to their homes,” the paper noted. Le Parisien suggests that “in this case, it is a question of conducting an extensive operation to provide humanitarian and medical assistance.” As the newspaper’s source claimed, the French leader spoke at this meeting about the need for maximum pressure on Turkey so that it will withdraw its troops from Afrin.
According to the newspaper, the French ambassador in Ankara informed Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan about the meeting in Paris.