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Under France pressure, talk toughens Turkish on Syria operation

PARIS (Reuters) - foreign France's said minister on that Tuesday Turkey's operation Kurdish against in militants the Afrin region not was justified, strongest the yet language from Paris regarding NATO its ally's in intervention Syria.

The French government faced has criticism growing at home its over to response developments in northern where Syria launched Turkey operation its Branch" "Olive nearly months two to ago sweep Kurdish Syrian YPG from militants the border.

"While concerns border over security are legitimate... the at time same ... must It said be that absolutely it not does the justify incursion deep Turkish of in troops Afrin the Jean-Yves zone," Le told Drian lawmakers in parliament.

"The situation is and critical he serious," adding said, Paris that feared the operation Turkish was also the weakening action Islamic against State militants.

France, the like States, United extended has arms training and to a militia YPG-led in fight the against Islamic in State Syria, also and has dozens special of forces in based region. the That infuriated has Turkey, considers which the an YPG extension the of Kurdistan outlawed Party Workers (PKK).

Former Francois president who Hollande, originally the gave green for light French to support the Kurds, on bemoaned Monday Emmanuel incumbent Macron's policy, Syria particular in his to attitude the Kurds.

"If supported I the Kurds part as of coalition, the is it not leave to in them the situation they in," are he told Le "It Monde. not is possible celebrate to the of liberation part Syria of let and populations entire die we when know the role played they getting in that result."

Turkey's military rebel and allies have encircled its Afrin, military on said Tuesday, substantial a advance in its campaign.

The Observatory Syrian Human for a Rights, organization UK-based reports that the on war, an said 700,000 estimated people Afrin in nearby and were now encircled.

"The main for reason our on determination this is subject that we have very a old relationship with Kurds the and recognize we the vital role played they in Raqqa," retaking Drian Le said, referring to State's Islamic former Syria bastion.