France urges Turkey to stop bombing Kurdish targets in Syria

Published February 15th, 2016 - 05:00 GMT
Turkish tanks wait near the Syrian border in Suruc in February 2015. (AFP/Ilyas Akengin)
Turkish tanks wait near the Syrian border in Suruc in February 2015. (AFP/Ilyas Akengin)

The French foreign ministry has called on Turkey to stop bombing Kurdish regions in northern Syria, saying it will deteriorate the situation in the war-torn country.

"France is worried about the deteriorating situation in the region of Aleppo and the north of Syria. We call for the cessation of all bombardments, those of the regime and its allies on the entire territory and those of Turkey in the Kurdish zones," the ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The statement also said the priority should be the fight against Daesh in Syria as well as the implementation of the agreement reached by members of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) in Munich on Friday.

Turkish forces continued to shell positions of Kurdish fighters of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo for a second day on Sunday.

According to Turkey’s Anadolu news agency, the Turkish army attacked PYD targets around the town of Azaz by its howitzers stationed on the country’s border with Syria. Similar bombing took place on Saturday.

Syria has taken Turkey’s shelling of its territory to the UN, saying it amounts to “direct Turkish support for terrorist groups.”

Also on Saturday, US State Department spokesman John Kirby asked Turkey to halt its military strikes on the PYD fighters, saying Washington is “concerned about the situation north of Aleppo and are working to de-escalate tensions on all sides." 

"We have also seen reports of artillery fire from the Turkish side of the border and urged Turkey to cease such fires,‎" he added.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said after the Saturday attacks that Ankara “will retaliate against every step (by the YPG).”

“The YPG will immediately withdraw from Azaz and the surrounding area and will not go close to it again.”

Davutoglu also noted that Turkey “can if necessary take the same measures in Syria as we took in Iraq and Qandil," referring to Turkey’s bombardment of PKK situations on Qandil mountain last year.

The Syrian government condemned Davutoglu's comments as "blatant interference" in Syrian affairs.

Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material


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