Turkey must be kicked out of Nato over Syria offensive demands François Hollande
Smoke rises over the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain
Following Turkey’s actions, Nato must “suspend” the country’s membership, M Hollande told the French daily Le Parisien. “The Kurds are our allies, they led the fight against Daesh (Islamic State).
Turkey, however, is a member of Nato. How can we allow a country that is in an alliance with us to attack a force that has been our main partner against Daesh?” he said. M Hollande also called on the UN Security Council and the European Union to “immediately” impose sanctions on Ankara over the assault. Turkey says it intends to create a “safe zone” in order to return millions of refugees to Syria and eliminate what it calls a “terror corridor” on its southern border.
Turkey later told the UN Security Council that its military operation would be “proportionate, measured and responsible,” according to Reuters. The 15-member body met on Thursday to discuss the crisis.
The assault began days after US President Donald Trump pulled his troops from the border, prompting international condemnation and claims he was abandoning the Syrian Kurds, loyal allies of Washington.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, control much of the territory that was once held by Isis and hold thousands of its fighters and tens of thousands of their relatives in detention.
“The Kurds were our main ground force against Daesh … their cooperation contributed to the eradication of Daesh in northern Syria… France cannot let them be massacred,” M Hollande continued.
World governments reacted with concern after Turkey launched the offensive, calling on Ankara to halt.
François Hollande has called for Turkey to be kicked out of Nato (Image: Getty)
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian condemned the “unilateral” operation, saying it “must stop”.
“It calls into question the security and humanitarian efforts of the coalition against Daesh and risks undermining Europeans’ security,” he said in a tweet.
Defence Minister Florence Parly, for her part, slammed Turkey’s actions as “dangerous”.
“It’s dangerous for the security of the Kurds. It’s dangerous because it benefits Daesh, against whom we have fought for five years. [The operation] must stop,” she tweeted.
Earlier in the day, a member of President Emmanuel Macron’s inner circle said France “stands by” the SDF, who are “key allies in the fight against Daesh”.