Kurdish official says French president Emmanuel Macron has committed to sending more troops to Syria

Kurdish official says French president Emmanuel Macron has committed to sending more troops to Syria
By Daniel Bellamy with Reuters
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Macron has offered to mediate between Turkey and the Kurdish YPG fighting in northern Syria.


After more attacks on French soil by so-called Islamic State, President Macron may be contemplating sending more troops to northern Syria.

Paris has denied it, but Kurdish officials representing the Kurdish YPG forces in Syria met with Macron on Thursday and afterwards stated that he'd pledged to send troops.

Speaking to Reuters news agency after the meeting with Macron, Khaled Eissa, a PYD member who represents the northern Syria region in Paris, said he had promised to send more troops to the area, provide humanitarian assistance and push for a diplomatic solution.

"There will be reinforcements to help secure from attacks by Islamic State and stop a foreign aggression," he said, referring to Turkey. "It's message that this irresponsible action from the Islamists in Ankara stops."

The YPG have been fighting so-called Islamic State alongside the American military and had all but defeated them in Syria until Turkey invaded from the north in January with the intention of defeating the Kurds.

Last week Turkey stormed the northern Syrian town of Afrin and it has repeatedly threatened to push its operations further east to Manbij where U.S. troops are stationed alongside the YPG.

In 2016 the YPG and the US forces took town from IS and they've now taken up defensive positions there. However, since Turkey is a NATO ally, any direct military contact between the two would have serious geopolitical implications.

And Kurdish forces on the ground say the US are no longer giving them as much support.

"We are ready to defend Manbij. But it is not that easy that the US will leave its allies. For more than two a nd half years we have been together with the coalition. We liberated Manbij together. They gave us reassurances. We are in a contract with them. Our forces are trained and armed by the coalition," member of the Manbij Military Council said.

On Thursday Pres ident Macron offered to mediate between Turkey and the YPG.

But Turkey considers them to be terrorists who've been helping fellow Kurdish fighters inside Turkey fight an insurgency there which has been going on for three decades.

And for France, the US and many western states the YPG are the Syrian fighters capable of taking on and defeating so-called Islamic State.

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