Bashar al-Assad's army has taken control of the town of Minbej in northern Syria to prevent an onslaught of Turkish forces. Drian will travel to Iraq to discuss the issue of foreign jihadists.
Less than a week after the start of Ankara's offensive against Kurdish forces in northern Syria, European NATO members no longer hide their dissatisfaction. Paris blames Turkey and the United States, while London announces the suspension of arms exports to Turkey. At the same time, Bashar Al-Assad's army took control of the city of Minbej in northern Syria to prevent an onslaught of Turkish forces.
Drian will discuss the issue of foreign jihadists
The head of the French diplomacy announced that he would soon meet the Iraqi – and Kurdish – leaders to discuss the situation of the fighters of the Islamic State (IS) group following the Turkish offensive in northeastern Syria and withdrawal. of the US Army.
"We are very concerned about the security and stability of the various camps or prisons where jihadist fighters are now locked up."said Jean-Yves Le Drian during the government's session in the Assembly. "Jihadist fighters, I said earlier that there were 10,000 who are now in prisons that must be absolutely safe and secure. It is for this reason that I will go to Iraq in a short time in order to speak with all the actors, including the Kurds "he told the National Assembly.
About 12,000 Islamic State (IS) fighters, including 2,500 to 3,000 foreigners, are being held in Kurdish-controlled prisons, according to figures from Kurdish sources. And IDP camps in northeastern Syria are home to around 12,000 foreigners, 8,000 children and 4,000 women.
The responsibility of Ankara and Washington
Asked several times in the Assembly on the offensive launched by Ankara, the prime minister, Edouard Philippe, implicated Turkey and the United States. "The responsibility of those who made these decisions will be very heavy in the region"said Philippe. According to the Prime Minister, these decisions "Challenge five years of coalition effort (International) whose Americans were the main partner " against the Islamic State (IS). "We see that the chaos that has begun to appear will encourage resurgence" of the IS, he still lamented.
"These decisions are devastating for the Syrian Democratic Forces", whose main component is the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), said Philippe, welcoming "What we owe them" in the fight against IS. "Devastating for the civilian population. Devastating also for the search for a political solution in Syria which moves away a little more with each advance of Turkey ", enumerated Mr. Philippe.
London suspends arms exports to Ankara
After Berlin, Paris and The Hague, London has decided to suspend arms exports to Turkey "That could be used" in the Turkish offensive, said British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in the House of Commons.
"As we fear, (The offensive) has seriously compromised the security and stability of the region "Raab said the offensive weakens the fight against ISIS in the region and worsens the humanitarian situation there.
This London decision shows "That many NATO allies are very critical and condemn the military operation in northern Syria"NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said after meeting at a meeting in Downing Street with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Bashar al-Assad's army takes control of Minbej
Meanwhile, Moscow announced that Bashar al-Assad's forces had taken control of the entire Syrian city of Minbej and its environs, as part of a deployment to counter the Turkish offensive. Information immediately confirmed by the international anti-jihadist coalition led by the United States.
The arrival of Syrian government forces in this city controlled since July 2018 by a military council composed of Arab and Kurdish fighters is a first since 2012. The city is located 30 kilometers from the Turkish border.
Russian military police "Conduct patrols at the northwestern borders of the region, along the line of contact" between Syrian and Turkish forces, the Russian Defense Ministry added in a statement. The Russian special envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, for his part assured that Moscow would not allow clashes between the Turkish and Syrian armies.
Withdrawal of international NGOs
Doctors Without Borders announced Tuesday the suspension of most of its activities in northeastern Syria. "Following the Turkish military intervention and due to the extreme volatility of the situation in north-east Syria, MSF decided to suspend the majority of its activities and evacuate all its staff from the region. international ", said the NGO on his behalf Twitter.
Earlier, Kurdish authorities in Syria had announced a halt to "All" international NGOs and the withdrawal of their employees from the north-east of the country. "The situation of the displaced has worsened in the areas targeted by the aggression (Turkish), with the total cessation of humanitarian aid, the cessation of activities of all international organizations and the withdrawal of their employees "according to a statement from the semi-autonomous Kurdish administration.
Monday, the international organization Mercy Corps announced "The suspension of its operations in northeastern Syria and the evacuation of its international staff". The NGO has been engaged in this sector since 2014 to deliver humanitarian aid to civilians.
Several agencies of the United Nations (UN) announced the continuation of their activities despite some difficulties. "We continue to send emergency food and also the usual food we send every month."said World Food Program (WFP) spokesman Herve Verhoosel, while acknowledging "Disturbances" in delivery in some areas due to security issues.