France will continue its military and humanitarian support to its partners in Syria, a Kurdish leader from Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) said on late Friday following her meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
“He promised to continue military, civilian support to fight and uproot terrorism in Syria, and [stressed] the need to maintain stability and security in the region from any threat,” Ilham Ahmed told Rudaw after the meeting.
Ahmed is leading an SDC delegation in France, seeking continuous support from one of the key members of the US-led international anti-ISIS coalition.
The SDC is the political wing of the coalition-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which is predominantly composed of Kurdish fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG)
Macron “hailed” the role of the SDF in the fight against Islamic State (ISIS), according to a statement from the Elysee Palace, following the meeting.
He also assured the Rojava delegation that France will continue supporting them in the fight against ISIS “which still poses a threat.”
Macron recalled the commitment of his country to “the security of Turkey and a de-escalation along the Syria-Turkey border,” the statement continued, adding that France will provide financial support to “meet humanitarian needs and the socio-economic stabilization of civilian populations in Syria.”
A member of the Syrian delegation told Hawar News Agency (ANHA) that their meeting was “important.”
Turkey considers both the SDF and YPG as Syrian branches of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Ankara quickly condemned the talks.
“We condemn French President Emmanuel Macron’s reception of a delegation of the so-called “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) which is dominated by PYD/YPG, the Syrian extension of the terrorist organization PKK,” read a statement from Turkish foreign ministry.
It claimed that “This attempt that aims to provide pseudo legitimacy to the extensions of the terrorist organization is an utterly wrong step which does not comply with the spirit of alliance.
The ministry also warned that it will take all “necessary” steps to ensure its national security.
“We once again remind [all of] the importance of not allowing the promotion of agendas targeting Syria’s political unity and territorial integrity, and that Turkey will not refrain from taking steps it finds necessary to ensure its national security,” the Turkish statement added.
US President Donald Trump’s announcement in December to withdraw some 2,000 forces from Syria has concerned partnered ground forces like the SDF and other coalition members. He then said the US would leave 200 troops in Syria.
On March 23, the SDF declared military defeat over ISIS in Syria. Extremist elements have continued to target “liberated” areas in northeast Syria using suicide bombers and car bombs.