France Risks War With Fellow NATO Member Turkey In Effort To Prop Up Syrian Rebels

Authored by Darius Shahtahmasebi via,

U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent surprise announcement that he plans to withdraw the United States military from Syria “very soon” and that he will let “the other people take care of it now” may be more telling of what’s to come than the mainstream media would have us believe.

The indication that Trump may let the “other people take care of it now” might appear, on the face of it, to refer to regional players and prominent backers like Russia and Iran, which have helped guide the course of the Syrian conflict to an almost certain victory for the Syrian government.

But what if Trump is actually opening the door for another Western imperial power to try its hand at taking on Syria for itself?

According to Reuters, France is looking to increase its military presence in Syria to help the U.S.-backed coalition in its so-called fight against ISIS. France has warned that a planned Turkish assault on these U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in Manbij would be “unacceptable,” according to a presidential source.

On Thursday of last week (incidentally, the same day as Donald Trump’s surprise announcement), French President Emmanuel Macron met with a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) delegation that included the YPG militia, which Turkey has expressly designated a terrorist entity. According to Reuters, a senior Kurdish official said Macron had promised to send more troops to the area as part of the U.S.-backed coalition’s efforts and, in essence, to present a buffer between the Kurds and Turkey.

“France doesn’t foresee any new military operation on the ground in northern Syria outside of the international coalition,” Reuters’ source said.

“(But) if the president felt that, in order to achieve our goals against Islamic State, we needed a moment to bolster our military intervention, then we should do it, but it would be within the existing framework,” the source said, without elaborating further, according to Reuters.

Some local reports are alleging that France was even contemplating sending French special forces to the Syrian city of Manbij, where Turkey is currently gearing up for an invasion of its own.

France has reportedly denied that it is planning a military build-up in Syria but has still offered to mediate between the Kurds and Turkey, an offer Ankara instantly rejected.

Interestingly enough, no media reports on these issues ask the much-needed questions regarding France’s legal basis for sending troops into Syrian territory in the first place. Never mind that Turkey has warned sternly against the move, threatening that France could become a target for the Turkish military; it bears reminding that the territory doesn’t belong to France or Turkey, anyway. Any additional military presence should at the very least be initiated in accordance with international legal norms and principles.

While much of the discourse in Syria has focused on what the Assad government is allegedly doing, no one has really bothered to question the extent of France’s involvement in Syria already to date. Last week, Turkish press agency Anadolu published a map purportedly showing French military positions in Syria, including five military bases in northeastern Syria where close to 70 French soldiers may be operating.

Anadolu also reported in mid-March that France’s top military official had already warned that France had the means to intervene in Syria independently of the U.S. and its allies, specifically in relation to the Syrian government’s alleged use of chemical weapons.

While it still remains to be seen, it seems more than possible that if the Trump administration decides to take a backseat in this next phase of the Syrian conflict, the driver’s seat may be passed on to France, instead, which is reportedly looking to take the reins and involve itself even further in the country despite having any legal basis to do so.


David Wooten Tue, 04/03/2018 - 02:04 Permalink

'  planned Turkish assault on these U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in Manbij would be “unacceptable,” '

Then, just make the Kurds pledge themselves to the Syria government - or leave Syria. If they stay, Syria will defend them from Turkey.

wildbad David Wooten Tue, 04/03/2018 - 02:09 Permalink

the main thing is war...

what other trick does a desperate tyranny have after all other civilized options have been exhausted?  go get em Macron, you tiger you.

show that muslim bastard how tough you are.

what the fack? doesn't he know that they lost there already?  sure hard to take a loss , especially after years of arming the wrong side for years for the wrong reasons.

have at er you fucking turd

In reply to by David Wooten

Obamanism666 Tue, 04/03/2018 - 02:11 Permalink

First thing. The French need a war to distract against the Sarkozy-Qaddafi affair.  Second thing. 1 million Turks leave Germany and invade France,an AfD wet dream or is Trump making Germany Great again?

DEMIZEN Tue, 04/03/2018 - 02:15 Permalink

if US and turkey units clash in Manbij, the Syrian war theater will turn into biggest post ww2 comedy ever. I hope we save face and move out. French won't fight Turks they will turn to Russians for mediation, sounds like the best plan for everybody but Erdogan.

The fact that Russians will end up mediating between two NATO countries is funny as fuck, imagine US involved in clashes with another NATO member while Russia controls another two votes in the organization.

BarkingCat DEMIZEN Tue, 04/03/2018 - 08:21 Permalink

I am pretty certain that Putin remembers how much the word of the French is worth - something about a contract to deliver 2 navy ships that was never fufilled.

I cannot believe that I will actually side with the Turks in a conflict between a European nation and Turkey, but the French have been pieces of shit for a very long time.

When Vienna was under siege by the Ottoman Empire, the French refused to help. That was in the 1600s.

In reply to by DEMIZEN

DEMIZEN BarkingCat Tue, 04/03/2018 - 09:32 Permalink

french have their own plans and calculations.  I think Russians and French have mutually given up on the ship contract. French are heavily invested in Russia and Russians could retaliate if they wanted to but chose not to.

Just like the Brits, French will have to deal with cooling of transatlantic trade and have their eyes on the trans-Saharan energy link. Sarkozy  Berlusconi Qaddafi wanted the Russians to get more involved in whatever was going down and brits were trying very hard to get between them, killed Qadaffi in the end. We will see the more open rivalry between French and Brits very soon I believe. 

In reply to by BarkingCat

Analyse2 Archibald Buttle Tue, 04/03/2018 - 08:30 Permalink

Trash-talking the French is a bad habit Americans picked up from old British propaganda.  

In fact these kind of old English racist jokes have been revivified since 2003 by the hate of American warmongers against France, and the hate still persists even in ZH, but the History has proved the French were right.

Remember that the American colonists would never have succeeded in breaking away from Britain if not for the substantial assistance of the French . 

In reply to by Archibald Buttle

To Hell In A H… Tue, 04/03/2018 - 02:28 Permalink

The French don't have the balls to get "down and dirty" in Syria. Not against real competition anyway.

The French have been so used to securing French assets in Africa, against Bushmen and Sahara dwelling sand-niggers with superior weapons, air cover and satellite observation and even with these advantages they sometimes lose battles.

As we British say, "the only thing a French soldier is good for, is dipping in your egg"

gregga777 Lokiban Tue, 04/03/2018 - 03:13 Permalink

Syria doesn't have enough oil to be of interest.


Syria is a relatively small oil producer, accounting for just 0.5 percent of the global production in 2010.[39][40] Although Syria is not a major oil exporter by Middle Eastern standards, oil is a major pillar of the economy. According to the International Monetary Fund, oil sales for 2010 were projected to generate $3.2 billion for the Syrian government and account for 25.1% of the state's revenue.[41]

In reply to by Lokiban

Analyse2 gregga777 Tue, 04/03/2018 - 08:03 Permalink

In fact, the Americans didn't save the French in Vietnam. The Americans just thought they could move in and take this part of the French colonial empire that the French could no longer maintain.

The French lost Dien Bien Phu because they were screwed by NATO (ie. the US).In 1954 they had to specialize in jets while others in Europe had to specialize in bombers.

And when it came to fight Communism (the Viet Cong, massively helped by Soviet Union and China's troops) ... guess what... the US refused the NATO to get involved.

The French had to fight the war without bombers, as in 1954 they had very few of these kind of planes.   

When the French were finally defeated in Dien Bien Phu, they had 50,000 troops in all Vietnam, and their biggest planes were Douglas A26 and C47’s, and Vought Corsairs.

When the US was defeated by the same enemy some twenty years later, they had 550,000 troops, B52’s, napalm, missiles, big helicopters, the works …

In reply to by gregga777

gregga777 Tue, 04/03/2018 - 03:04 Permalink

Another opportunity for the French elites to throw their troops into a losing war. Then after they've had lots of brave soldiers slaughtered, the corrupt French elites will decide that it's just too hard and they'll surrender everyone. It wasn't the French Army that failed in 1940; it was a thoroughly corrupt and incompetent General Staff that incurred 200,000 casualties in just 46 days of combat and then just gave up to the Wehrmacht. Some of the French Officer Corps decided that they'd do better as German lackeys than actually defending their country.



gregga777 researchfix Tue, 04/03/2018 - 03:50 Permalink

The French officer corps sits in their villas sipping Champagne and fondling their whores after sending their soldiers into battle with ridiculously incompetent planning and inadequate logistics support. But, why should they care? They'll be well treated after they surrender their troops, Champagne stocks, whores and villas. 

In reply to by researchfix