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Turkish offensive: Syria sends troops north



In response to the Turkish offensive in the north of the country, the Syrian army is sending troops into the area, according to state media. The army will oppose the Turkish "aggression," reported the state-run Syrian news agency Sana. Further details on the mobilization were initially not mentioned. Syrian government forces have been stationed in certain Kurdish areas to prevent a Turkish offensive.

  

Turkey began its military offensive against the Kurdish militia YPG on Wednesday, which is part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The negotiates now, according to the news agency Reuters with representatives of the Syrian government. Ahmed Suleiman, a leading member of the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party, told Reuters that talks between both sides were taking place at the Russian Hmeimim Air Force Base near Latakia.

  

Merkel and Macron call for an end to the offensive

  

Suleiman's party is one of the oldest Kurdish associations in Syria, but not part of the SDF administration in northern Syria. The SDF did not want to comment on Suleiman's statements, but SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali said that all options are being tested to prevent ethnic cleansing.

  

  

At the same time, NATO's partners stepped up pressure on Turkey, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and French President Emmanuel Macron calling for an immediate end to the Turkish military offensive. Macron announced "more initiatives in the coming hours and days". After the meeting with Merkel he wants to meet on Sunday evening with the Defense Council in Paris. It will be attended by, among others, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, Defense Secretary Florence Parly and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

  

Previously, Germany and France, but also the Netherlands, Norway and Finland had announced that they would restrict arms supplies to Turkey.

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