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France condemns Turkey's unilateral offensive in northeastern Syria in the strongest possible terms

France condemns Turkey’s unilateral offensive in northeastern Syria in the strongest possible terms

Published on October 14, 2019

Press communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic after the meeting of the National Security and Defense Council

Paris - October 13, 2019

On October 13, the President convened the National Security and Defense Council to review the situation in northeastern Syria.

He emphasized that Turkey’s unilateral offensive may have tragic humanitarian consequences, lead to a resurgence of Daesh in the region, and result in the long-term destabilization of northeastern Syria. France condemns it in the strongest possible terms.

The following decisions were adopted:

Working closely with its partners in the coalition against Daesh and as part of the EU, NATO, and the UN Security Council, France will step up its diplomatic efforts to immediately end the Turkish offensive.

Measures will be taken in the coming hours to ensure the security of French military and civilian personnel who are in the area as part of the coalition against Daesh or humanitarian operations.

An emergency humanitarian response will be implemented to deal with the needs of the people of northeastern Syria.

The absolute priority must be to prevent the resurgence of Daesh in the region. The risk of escapes by imprisoned Daesh terrorists as a result of the Turkish offensive is being fully taken into account. Measures were also adopted to enhance homeland security in this context.

Statement to the press by Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian at the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council

Luxemburg - October 14, 2019

Ladies and gentlemen,

This Council is meeting amid an especially serious political context. It is serious because the Turk offensive could cause the re-emergence of Daesh. It could bring about a resurgence of Daesh that could take many forms. This has begun in Raqqa and Qamishli where there have been attacks for which Daesh has claimed responsibility.

This is especially serious because Syrian democratic forces, currently under threat, are our allies. They have been our allies since the fight against Daesh began. And it is especially serious because this offensive will cause a genuine humanitarian disaster. It has already generated 130,000 additional refugees and displaced persons, which are now living in distress.

France would therefore like to see this meeting produce several outcomes. First, a condemnation of the Turkish offensive and an express call to stop this offensive. Next and specifically, a strong position on arms exports to Turkey. And above all, we would like this meeting to provide an opportunity to ensure that the United States takes the initiative to convene a meeting of the Global Coalition Against Daesh. Because we must not forget that we have been engaged in combat against Daesh since 2014, under American leadership with some 30 participating countries, many of them European.

It is now important for us to meet to assess the new situation because France’s number one enemy remains Daesh.

Thank you for your attention.

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