By Mohamad Misto, Selen Temizer and Levent Tok
The French military has stepped up coordination with the YPG/PKK terrorists in parts of northern Syria held by the terrorist group.
Late last month, leaders of the SDF -- which is, in fact, the Syrian branch of the PKK terror group -- met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
French media outlets later reported that France had promised to send troops to Syria’s northern Manbij region with the aim of supporting the SDF.
In previous statements, the French Presidency said that Macron had voiced hope that “dialogue” might be established between the SDF and Turkey “with the help of France and the international community”.
In response, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said: “If the remark [by the French Presidency] that ‘We can mediate between Turkey and the SDF’ is true, it far exceeds the capacity of the person who said it.”
Boots on ground
According to information obtained by Anadolu Agency from local sources, French Special Forces arrived at a U.S. base in the YPG/PKK-held town of Rmelan -- located in Al-Hasakah province -- late Thursday night.
According to the same sources, French military personnel frequently enter and exit Syria through neighboring Iraq.
With the use of armored vehicles, French troops -- with the knowledge of the U.S. military and the YPG/PKK -- are also operating in and around Manbij, Raqqah and Deir az-Zor, where they frequently visit positions of YPG/PKK terrorists.
French military personnel have also met with leaders of the terrorist group, to which France has provided weapons and military equipment, the same sources said.
The French military currently maintains a presence at five military bases in northern Syria in areas held by the YPG/PKK terror group, according to the same sources.
More than 70 French Special Forces units -- working under the auspices of an international coalition against Daesh -- are now deployed at the Lafarge Cement factory near Mistanur Hill and the village of Harb-Isk in the city of Ayn al-Arab (Kobani) in Syria’s northern Aleppo province, the sources said.
French forces, they added, are also conducting field operations alongside YPG/PKK terrorists.
An airbase built by the U.S. military in Harab-Isk was later incorporated into the nearby cement factory.
The facility is currently run by U.S. military personnel operating under the coalition, while a number of French troops are also stationed there.
Meanwhile, more than 30 French troops are also operating with the terrorist organization in Syria’s northern city of Raqqah.
Along with French Special Forces, the 1st Marine Infantry Paratroop Regiment and the 10th Paratroop Commando Force are also operating in the region.
While these forces are technically stationed in Iraq, they frequently cross into northern Syria via the Simelka border crossing.