France, Britain express concern over op. in N Syria

ANKARA

France and the U.K. expressed concern on Tuesday over Turkey’s possible operation in northeastern Syria.

“We are deeply concerned by the information regarding a potential unilateral military operation by Turkey in northeastern Syria,” the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The statement said they they call on Turkey to avoid any initiative that would run counter to the interests of the global coalition against Daesh, of which it is a member.

“Any unilateral action could have significant humanitarian consequences and would not bring about the conditions necessary for the safe and voluntary return of the refugees to their areas of origin,” it said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman also said that Britain is “deeply concerned” over Turkey’s plans to launch a military campaign in northern Syria.

“We have been consistently clear with Turkey that unilateral military action must be avoided as it would destabilize the region and threaten efforts to secure lasting defeat of Daesh,” British Foreign Office minister Andrew Murrison told the lawmakers in the House of Commons as well.

EU’s Foreign Affairs and Security Policy spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic, answering a reporter’s question about the possible operation, said the EU recognizes Turkey’s legitimate security concerns.

However, she added that EU thinks that “any sustainable solution” to Syrian conflict will not be reached through military means.

On Monday, Russia had said that they are aware of Turkey’s acts to ensure its own security and Russia accepts them, referring to the possible operation.

Since 2016, Turkey’s Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northwestern Syria have liberated the region from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, making it possible for Syrians who fled the violence to return home.

Turkey has long decried the threat from terrorists east of the Euphrates in northern Syria, pledging military action to prevent the formation of a “terrorist corridor” there.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the Syrian branch of the terrorist PKK.

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