Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/25 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/25 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/25 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/25 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/25 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/25 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/25 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/25 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/25 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/25 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 09/23 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/24 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 09/23 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/24 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/24 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/24 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 09/23 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 09/24 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 09/23 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/24 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 09/23 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Middle East

Turkey dubs France's warning over Syria operation 'baseless'

media Afrin on 31 January 2018 Ahmad Shafie BILAL / AFP

Turkey has accused France of "baseless" accusations that civilians are dying in its offensiv against Kurdish militias in northern Turkey.

"It is being seen with regret that the French foreign minister made unfortunate and groundless comments on Operation Olive Branch," Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement on Thursday.

Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on 20 January to clear Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militias out of the north-west Syrian town of Afrin, claiming that they are part of the same movement as the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) that has been fighting the Turkish state for three decades.

Commenting on the offensive this week, French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said he understood that Turkey wants to defend its borders but said that killing civilians would be "reprehensible".

At least 68 civilians have been killed in the offensive according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

But Turkey denies the claim.

"There have been no civilian losses so far in the operation," Aksoy said. "Contrary to what France claims, Turkey's ongoing operation is aimed at preventing another war in Syria. We expect our allies to be able to see this reality."

Last week French President Emmanuel Macron warned against the operation becoming an "invasion operation", prompting Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan to tell him in a phone conversation that it was aimed at "terror elements".

"Turkey does not have eye on any other country's soil," Aksoy said. "Turkey has never been colonialist in its history. It has entered Syria not for invasion but to combat with terrorism."

France and the rest of the US-led coalition have worked with the YPG in its fight against the Islamic State armed group and have called on Turkey to exercise restraint in Afrin.

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.