World, Middle East

FSA commander criticizes France’s links with YPG/PKK

France would not be able to support YPG/PKK in region east of Euphrates River, says commander of Free Syrian Army

24.12.2018 - Update : 26.12.2018
FSA commander criticizes France’s links with YPG/PKK

By Omer Koparan

AZAZ, Syria

A commander of the Syrian armed opposition on Monday criticized France for its links with a YPG/PKK-led group in Syria.

Seyf Ebu Bekir, a commander of the Hamza Division, which is a member of the Turkey-backed Free Syria Army (FSA), told Anadolu Agency that he does not think France would be able to support YPG/PKK in the region east of the Euphrates River.

“We will save our region from PKK and Daesh,” Ebu Bekir said, adding when the region east of the Euphrates River is cleared of Daesh and PKK, it will be understood that French President Emmanuel Macron’s remarks were "meaningless."

On Monday, Macron criticized the U.S. President Donald Trump over the decision to withdraw forces from Syria. Speaking about YPG-led SDF, Macron said: “I call on everyone […] not to forget what we owe them.”

On Friday, PKK/YPG representatives visited Paris to stress on the danger of Daesh posed to Europe.

The two co-chairs of SDF, Riad Darar and Ilham Ahmad, held talks in Paris with French officials over the U.S. withdrawal from Syria.

They failed to meet French President Emmanuel Macron as they were not given an appointment, but they met his advisors.

“We conveyed our concerns over the consequences of the U.S. withdrawal from Syria to the fight against Daesh,” Ahmad told French daily Le Monde newspaper.

French officials on Thursday said that their troops will remain in Syria after the U.S. pullout decision from the war-torn country.

The U.S. has been working alongside the YPG/PKK in Syria in its effort to eliminate Daesh from the region.

Turkey views the YPG as the Syrian extension of the PKK, a designated terrorist group in Turkey, the EU and the U.S.

The U.S. began its air campaign in Syria in 2014, deploying troops to the country to assist in the anti-Daesh fight alongside local partners the year after.

Trump's announcement came as a shock to many after several top administration officials, including National Security Advisor John Bolton, insisted the U.S. would not be removing its forces until Iran exited Syria.

The withdrawal comes on the eve of a possible Turkish counter-terrorism operation against the YPG/PKK in northeastern Syria. Since 2016 Ankara has carried out two similar counter-terrorism operations in northern Syria.

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