Around 200 French troops are still deployed in northeast Syria under the guard of the U.S. military, the Anadolu Agency revealed in a report released on November 19.
According to the report, French forces are stationed side by side with U.S. troops in the following four positions:
- Al-Jabsah housing complex in the southern al-Hasakah countryside;
- The sugar factory base north of Raqqa’s city center;
- The al-Omar oil fields base in the southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside;
- The al-Tanak oil field base in the southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside.
The Anadolu Agency claimed that French forces are training fighters of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK).
“The French army can maintain its mobility only under the protection of U.S. troops and YPG/PKK terrorists,” the agency’s report reads.
Last month, Turkey reached separate agreements with Russian and the U.S. to counter the influence of Kurdish groups, especially along the border with its territory. Paris never reached a similar agreement with Ankara.
France may hope to gain a political leverage in Syria by keeping few troops under U.S. protection in the northeastern region. This stem may provoke Turkey.