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France - Syria - Kurds

France vows to continue supporting Kurdish-led forces in Syria

Emmanuel Macron.
Emmanuel Macron. ©Élysée

France will continue to support Kurdish-led forces in Syria who continue to fight the jihadists still in place, according to a statement released by the Elysee Palace on Friday after President Emmanuel Macron met with Kurdish force representatives.

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Macron pledged "active support of France in the fight against Daesh which continues to be a menace for collective security," according to the statement, which cited IS by its Arabic name.

Members of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who defeated IS from their last stronghold in Syria met with Macron to ask for continued support. The members were not named in the statement.

The SDF is made up of primarily Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) militia along with Arabs who were instrumental in defeating IS, handling most of the fighting on the ground.

They are considered key allies with the west, while Turkey calls the Kurdish group a terrorist organization, a Syrian offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), who has been fighting Turkey for 35 years.

In the statement, Macron stressed that of "the security of Turkey and a de-escalation along the Syrian-Turkish border" was also important.

The Kurds also asked for help from France in "handling of terrorist fighters held as prisoners along with their families."

Macron said that financial support would be forthcoming to "respond to the humanitarian needs and the socio-economic stabilisation of civilian populations in Syria."

France had previously pledged one million euros in humanitarian aid for the camps housing the displaced, including Al-Hol, a camp where thousands of women and children who lived in IS-held areas now reside.

Part of their effort to secure further support was due to the US announcing the withdrawal of American forces from Syria after IS was defeated.

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