France's head of state Emmanuel Macron claims to have learned about the withdrawal of US troops from Syria on the short message service Twitter. "I thought that we were in NATO, that the United States and Turkey were in NATO," said Macron on the sidelines of the EU summit in Brussels. "Like everyone else, I've learned through a tweet that the United States has decided to withdraw its troops."
Macron did not say which Twitter message he was referring to. US President Donald Trump surprisingly announced on October 7 through the online service that it was time for his country to withdraw from the "ridiculous endless wars". At the same time, the US armed forces began to withdraw their troops from northern Syria.
... almost 3 years, but it's time to get rid of this ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal and bring our soldiers home. WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TOO BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN. Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds want to have now .....- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2019
As a result, the Turkish army began its long-announced offensive against the Kurdish militia YPG in northern Syria. Macron announced that he would launch a diplomatic initiative with Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. As part of this, a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is planned. France is involved with special forces in the anti-IS coalition in Syria.
Criticism of fire break
EU Council President Donald Tusk criticized Turkey's and the US's announced ceasefire: "It's not a cease-fire, but an appeal to the Kurds to surrender," Tusk said. "We urge Turkey once again to stop its military action for good."
- An analysis of the fire break agreed between Ankara and Washington read here: The US gives Erdogan what he wants.
Merkel said it was "too bad" at the end of the summit that efforts to find a political solution in Syria would be thrown back by the military offensive.
A joint statement by EU leaders said the break was "noted". However, Turkey must "end" its military offensive, withdraw its troops and respect international humanitarian law. The operation of Turkey causes "unacceptable human suffering". It undermines "the fight against the IS and threatens the European security substantially".