By Mohamad Misto, Omer Koparan and Adham Kako
ANKARA (AA) - French troops are only able to remain deployed in Syria under the guard of the U.S. military, despite the French president's claim that his country is pursuing an active policy in the Middle Eastern country.
During an interview earlier this month, Emmanuel Macron had claimed that NATO was "brain dead".
Macron told the Economist weekly magazine that NATO "only works if the guarantor of last resort functions as such", lambasting the U.S. for "turning its back" on the alliance.
"I'd argue that we should reassess the reality of what NATO is in the light of the commitment of the United States," he added.
Macron, who has been a staunch supporter of the EU, said U.S. President Donald Trump "doesn't share our idea of the European project."
Despite Macron’s statements, the French army can operate in Syria only through U.S. bases and facilities.
- France’s cooperation with YPG/PKK terror group
Macron had also made headlines with his controversial claims on the Syrian crisis and Turkey's regional policies.
He hosted one of the ringleaders of the YPG/PKK terrorist organization in his office and criticized Turkey during the meeting, which was held on Oct. 9, the day Turkey launched its anti terror operation in northern Syria.
French troops supporting the terrorist organization YPG/PKK are stationed at four different locations in the Syrian provinces of Raqqa, Deir-Ez-Zor and Haseke provinces, according to local sources.
There are around 200 French soldiers in areas occupied by the terror group.
The French army can maintain its mobility only under the protection of U.S. troops and YPG/PKK terrorists.
Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the region so that a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some 2 million refugees.
On Oct. 22, Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists would pull back 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Turkey’s border with Syria and security forces from Turkey and Russia will mount joint patrols there.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.
*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz