ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Tuesday said French authorities had advised Turkey to “put an end” to its military offensive against the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syrian Kurdistan’s Afrin.
Le Drian made the remarks while addressing the parliament’s foreign affairs committee which was discussing the conflict in Syria and the implementation of a United Nations ceasefire request.
“The will for a ceasefire is for everybody, all of Syria,” the French official stated, referring to Turkey’s claims the 30-day UN truce did not apply to its operation in Afrin.
“We need to say it because we will all be mobilized in the coming days on the question of eastern Ghouta, but the truce applies to all, including Afrin,” Le Drian added.
According to the French official, authorities in France had relayed this message to Turkish officials and told them that “France regretted the intervention” against the YPG in the Kurdish-held enclave, Reuters reported.
On Feb. 24, the UN Security Council demanded a 30-day truce in Syria as rescuers in the country’s eastern Ghouta region pleaded that ongoing bombardments had prevented them from reporting and collecting casualties.
A few days later, French President Emmanuel Macron phoned his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and stressed that the ceasefire also applied to operations in Afrin.
Macron’s call was followed by a similar statement by the United States during a State Department briefing where spokesperson Heather Nauert affirmed that the Kurdish region fell within the scope of the 30-day truce.
In response, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry released a lengthy, strong-worded statement criticizing both the US and France’s calls for Ankara to adhere to the ceasefire.