08:51 GMT +318 October 2018
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    Smoke rises from the Syria's Afrin region, as it is pictured from near the Turkish town of Hassa, on the Turkish-Syrian border in Hatay province, Turkey January 20, 2018

    France Demands Urgent UNSC Meeting Over Turkish Operation in Syria's Afrin

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    French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has demanded an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council over Turkey's operation in Syria's Afrin.

    "Syria: Ghouta, Idlib Afrin — France has requested an urgent meeting of UN Security Council," Le Drian said on Twitter after talks with his Turkish counterpart.

    The minister further continued, saying that the parties should stop the fire immediately and provide a complete humanitarian access.

    Following the talks between Jean-Yves Le Drian and Mevlut Cavusoglu, France issued a statement, calling on Turkey to exercise restraint against the backdrop of the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria.

    "France is attentive to the security of Turkey, its territory and borders. Paris calls on the Turkish authorities to exercise restraint in the complicated context of a humanitarian situation in several Syrian regions in view of military activities of Damascus and its allies," the statement said.

    Earlier today, NTV broadcaster reported that Turkish tanks entered Syrian Afrin, backing the offensive of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) armed opposition group on the positions of Kurdish militia.

    The announcement came a day after the Turkish General Staff had declared the launch of the operation dubbed Olive Branch against the Kurdish forces in Afrin. The operation started at 14:00 GMT and over 70 Turkish warplanes conducted airstrikes in seven districts of Afrin, where 108 targets out of 113 were destroyed. The military operation has already been condemned by Damascus with the Syrian Foreign Ministry calling the act a violation of Syrian sovereignty.

    A spokesman for the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin, however, denied Turkish claims that its forces had entered the district.

    Related:

    SDF Announces Readiness to Defend Kurds From Turkish Offensive in Syrian Afrin
    Damascus Resolutely Condemns Turkish Military Operation in Afrin
    Erdogan Says Operation in Syria's Afrin De-Facto Started On The Ground
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    UN Security Council, Afrin, Turkey, France
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