Paris urges Turkey to avoid a unilateral military operation in Syria
Turkey/northeastern Syria (7 October 2019) – Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (excerpt)
Paris, 7 October 2019
We are deeply concerned by the information regarding a potential unilateral military operation by Turkey in northeastern Syria. We call on Turkey to avoid any initiative that would run counter to the interests of the Global Coalition Against Daesh [so-called ISIL], 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 would undermine the stability of this region and the work we are carrying out directly on the ground, through military, humanitarian and stabilization efforts, alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces, in order to combat terrorism over the long term and help restore normal life, while respecting the rights of the local populations.
Daesh, which has gone underground since its territorial defeat, remains a major threat to our national security. In Syria, the organization still has significant resources and capacity for action.
The terrorist fighters being held in detention, including those who are foreign nationals, should be prosecuted where they committed their crimes. Their prosecution and their secure detention in northeastern Syria are also an essential security measure in order to prevent them from strengthening the ranks of terrorist groups. Any initiative that could jeopardize these goals must be avoided.
France is working closely with its European partners on this issue, as well as with its partners in the Global Coalition against Daesh. (…)./.