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France urges Turkey to stop bombing Syria Kurdish regions

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighter walks near a wall, which activists said was put up by Turkish authorities, on the Syria-Turkish border in the western countryside of Ras al-Ain,Syria January 29, 2016. (Reuters)

The French foreign ministry has called on Turkey to stop bombing Kurdish regions in northern Syria, saying it will deteriorate the situation in the war-torn country.

"France is worried about the deteriorating situation in the region of Aleppo and the north of Syria. We call for the cessation of all bombardments, those of the regime and its allies on the entire territory and those of Turkey in the Kurdish zones," the ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The statement also said the priority should be the fight against Takfiri Daesh militants in Syria as well as the implementation of the agreement reached by members of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) in Munich on Friday.

Turkish forces continued to shell positions of Kurdish fighters of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo for a second day on Sunday.

According to Turkey’s Anadolu news agency, the Turkish army attacked PYD targets around the town of Azaz by its howitzers stationed on the country’s border with Syria. Similar bombing took place on Saturday.

Syria has taken Turkey’s shelling of its territory to the UN, saying it amounts to “direct Turkish support for terrorist groups.”

Syrian government forces patrol after taking control of the village of Kiffin, on the northern outskirts of the embattled city of Aleppo on the road leading to Gaziantep on February 11, 2016. (AFP photo)

Also on Saturday, US State Department spokesman John Kirby asked Turkey to halt its military strikes on the PYD fighters, saying Washington is “concerned about the situation north of Aleppo and are working to de-escalate tensions on all sides." 

"We have also seen reports of artillery fire from the Turkish side of the border and urged Turkey to cease such fires,‎" he added.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said after the Saturday attacks that Ankara “will retaliate against every step (by the YPG).”

“The YPG will immediately withdraw from Azaz and the surrounding area and will not go close to it again.”

Davutoglu also noted that Turkey “can if necessary take the same measures in Syria as we took in Iraq and Qandil," referring to Turkey’s bombardment of PKK situations on Qandil mountain last year.

The Syrian government condemned Davutoglu's comments as "blatant interference" in Syrian affairs.

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