A new military offensive by Turkey into northern Syria will lead to the re-emergence of ISIS and the West should oppose it, warns former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and writer Patrice Franceschi.
In a piece they penned for Le Monde, the duo said there are “countless” ISIS sleeper cells waiting in areas liberated by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who will attack the Kurds when Ankara invades.
Kouchner and Franceschi also said that allowing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government to once again attack northern Syria will pave the way for ISIS to relaunch their attacks against France, which the authors deem as the jihadists’ “preferred target.”
“To avoid this backlash, it is imperative that France, America, Europe and the United Nations finally come together to take a firm stand to stop Erdoğan. Political and military solutions certainly exist but the willingness to act still lacks,” they said.
Since late May, Erdoğan has said Turkey will imminently begin a new operation in northern Syria. It would be the fourth such operation in the last six years. Top Turkish officials have also increasingly signaled a fresh offensive against Kurdish fighters.
“All indications are that the Ankara leader remains determined to finish off the Kurds, as they fiercely oppose his expansionist plans as well as his desire to resettle Islamists in their territory,” Kouchner and Franceschi said.
The writer and the former minister visited Rojava last month to show their mutual support to the Kurds in the face of Turkish aggression.
During their visit, the duo said that Kurds have friends in France who are ready to provide whatever assistance is required to northeastern Syria.
“We will not forget the efforts made by the people of this region during their battles against ISIS,” Kouchner said.
Shortly after their visit, a group of French MPs released a joint statement denouncing Ankara’s “policy of war” against the Kurds and called on the Western countries “not to look away.”