- Title: Syrian Kurds call for French support in fight against IS
- Date: 25th October 2016
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (French) ROJAVA (KURDISH REGION IN NORTHERN SYRIA) REPRESENTATIVE IN FRANCE, KHALED ISSA, SAYING: "Turkey is occupying a territory that spans 70 kilometres of the border, to maintain its ties with Daesh in Raqqa and to maintain the supply routes for Daesh. Second, and most importantly, to be able to maintain their leverage to blackmail Europe." ISSA POINTING TO MAP OF SYRIA PROJECTED ON WALL
- Embargoed: 9th November 2016 10:08
- Keywords: Syria Kurds Rojava Islamic State France
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA00355I6NUV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The French representative for Kurds in northern Syria on Tuesday (October 25) called on France to support them in fighting Islamic State in Syria.
Khaled Issa, France's representative for Rojava, the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Syria told a news conference in Paris that France has "efficient means".
Issa said France can help "prevent regional powers like Turkey from hindering the liberation of Raqqa", the de facto capital of the militant group.
He accused Turkey of deliberately blocking coalition forces from getting into the city, and protecting Islamic State supply routes.
Issa called on defence ministers of the anti-Islamic State coalition who are meeting in Paris on Tuesday to stand up against the Turks and stop "Turkish occupation" of the Syrian border.
He said Turkey had locked down 70 kilometres of its border with Syria in order to "blackmail Europeans" to let them into the European Union. Turkey is negotiating with the EU for visa-free access to the bloc for its nationals in exchange for agreeing to stem the flow of migrants to Europe.
Differences over Syria have caused strains between NATO allies Turkey and the United States.
Washington is backing Kurdish YPG militia, seeing it as an effective partner in the fight against Islamic State. But Turkey fears the militia's advance will embolden Kurdish militants at home.
On Saturday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would do what was necessary with its coalition partners in Raqqa, but refused to work with the Syrian Kurdish fighters.
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