PARIS, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) — French President Emmanuel Macron warned Turkey on Wednesday about its military offensive against Kurdish militias in northern Syria which he said should not be “an invasion operation.”
“If it turns out that this operation takes a turn other than to fight a potential terrorist threat to the Turkish border and becomes an invasion operation, this would become a real problem for us,” Macron told the daily Le Figaro in an interview.
“We cannot have security built on the ground without respect for Syrian sovereignty against an enemy who is no longer Daesh,” he added.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched operation Olive Branch against Kurdish People Protection Units (YPG) militias in Afri, northern Syria. The military offensive in the Kurdish-held region could be extended further east to the city of Manbij where U.S. special forces are stationed, according to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Ankara considers the group a terrorist organization and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
Urging “caution and restraint,” Macron called on Turkey to coordinate with its allies, saying he would discuss the issue with his Turkish counterpart “in the coming days.”