January 21, 2018 / 12:35 PM / 5 months ago

France asks Turkey to act with restraint in Syria

PARIS (Reuters) - France has asked Turkey to act with restraint in Syria, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Sunday after speaking by phone with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.

FILE PHOTO - French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, January 5, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

“France calls on Turkish authorities to act with restraint in a difficult context, with the humanitarian situation deteriorating in several regions of Syria as a consequence of the military actions of the Damascus regime and its allies,” Le Drian said in a statement.

Turkish ground forces pushed into northern Syria’s Afrin province on Sunday, the army said, after Turkey launched artillery and air strikes on a U.S.-backed Kurdish militia it aims to sweep from its border.

Le Drian also said that France condemned indiscriminate bombing by the Syrian regime in Idlib province and asked for the immediate access of humanitarian aid to eastern Ghouta, where 400,000 citizens are in a critical situation.

He confirmed that France would call for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Susan Fenton

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