Turkey accuses France’s Macron of ‘trying to divide Syria’
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has accused France of leading efforts to disintegrate Syria as it tried to do so in Iraq in response to French President Emmanuel Macron’s insistent calls on the Turkish government to immediately cease its cross-border operation into Syrian territories.
“I openly say: Macron wants to disintegrate Syria,” Çavuşoğlu told private broadcaster CNNTürk in an interview late Oct 10. The Turkish foreign minister said that along with France, Israel and the United States, are also seeking a divided Syria by using the YPG. He said that was reason for their disturbance over the Turkish operation whose objective is to strengthen the territorial integrity of Syria.
Çavuşoğlu’s remarks came as prominent European nations have expressed their opposition to “Operation Peace Spring” by the Turkish army. France has strongly condemned the operation while Macron had met with a senior YPG official in Elysee before the Turkish operation started.
“We are using our rights stemming from international law. We are entering [Syria] to clear terrorist positions,” he stressed.
Turkey’s operation into Syria will be a measured one as NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said, Çavuşoğlu informed, underlining that the Turkish army’s penetration will be limited to 30 kilometers in depth as suggested in talks with the U.S. over safe zone.
Upon a question, Çavuşoğlu said he could not estimate how long the operation will continue but recalled that the objective was to extend the safe zone from Manbij province of Syria to the Iraqi border.
The Turkish foreign minister stressed that Turkey will take care of ISIL terrorists only within the safe zone. “Our officials from the foreign, justice and defense ministries are working on how to take care with the imprisoned terrorists,” he said.