Under pressure, France toughens talk on Turkish Syria operation

PARIS – France's foreign minister said on Tuesday that Turkey's operation against Kurdish militants in the Afrin region was not justified, the strongest language yet from Paris regarding its NATO ally's intervention in Syria.


The French government has faced growing criticism at home over its response to developments in northern Syria where Turkey launched its operation "Olive Branch" nearly two months ago to sweep Syrian Kurdish YPG militants from the border.


"While concerns over border security are legitimate... at the same time ... It must be said that it absolutely does not justify the deep incursion of Turkish troops in the Afrin zone," Jean-Yves Le Drian told lawmakers in parliament.


"The situation is critical and serious," he said, adding that Paris feared the Turkish operation was also weakening the action against Islamic State militants.


First published: 03.13.18, 19:52