France suspended arms sales to Turkey on Saturday over Ankara’s ongoing military incursion into the northern part of Syria, which was earlier condemned by the nation’s president, Emmanuel Macron.
French President Emmanuel Macron is set to hold an emergency defence cabinet meeting on Sunday, the main purpose of which is to discuss possible options regarding the Turkish military offensive, according to Reuters.
Paris will take measures “in coming hours” to ensure the safety of its military and civilian personnel in northern Syria, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the French president’s office issued following the emergency defence cabinet meeting.
“Measures will be taken in the coming hours to ensure the safety of French military and civilian personnel present in the zone as part of the international coalition fighting Islamic State and humanitarian action,” the French presidency said.
According to the statement, France condemns “in the strongest terms” Ankara’s ‘Operation Peace Spring’ in northern Syria, launched on 9 October by Turkish President Erdogan.
Macron said during the emergency meeting that the military invasion “entails the risk of causing dramatic humanitarian consequences, a resurgence of Daesh in the region, and a lasting destabilization of the northeastern Syria,” according to Reuters.
“France will increase its diplomatic efforts … to obtain an immediate end to the Turkish offensive,” the Elysee said.
Air attacks began 9 October in the Ras al-Ain town of Al Hasakah province and the ground troop and artillery invasion was launched shortly thereafter. The Turkish offensive is part of Ankara’s long-stated goal to clear its Syria-facing border area of Daesh* terrorists and the Kurdish militia from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), whom Ankara designates as a terrorist organization.
On Sunday, authorities of the Kurdish autonomy announced that they had reached an agreement with Damascus on the deployment of the Syrian troops along the entire border with Turkey to counter the Turkish military offensive in the north of Syria.