Six Turkish troops killed by Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) militants

Syrian refugee children

Manbij, in northern Syria, has recently become another major point of disagreement between the US and its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, Turkey, over the presence of the Kurdish militant group People's Protection Units, also known as the YPG.

The statement did not elaborate on how exactly Paris plans to support the SDF, but PYD member Khaled Eissa told Reuters after the meeting that Macron promised to send more French troops to the area, provide humanitarian assistance, and push for a diplomatic settlement of the conflict between the Kurds and Turkey. Worsening matters, Macron offered to mediate between them.

The National Security Council met under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in capital Ankara.

Turkish forces drove the YPG from the northwestern Syrian town of Afrin almost two weeks ago and Erdogan says Ankara is preparing to extend operations along hundreds of miles of border, including areas where the American forces are deployed.

Still, the official insisted that the Turkish offensive against opposition forces in northwest Syria "must stop".

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As part of the global coalition against Islamic State, the United States this week increased its special operations troops in the flashpoint town of Manbij in northern Syria.

Kurdish officials said afterwards that France was planning to send new troops to Manbij - a northern Syrian town held by the Kurdish YPG militia - a claim Paris denied.

As for the anti-terror operations conducted in the country and in northern Iraq, the General Staff said at least 90 militants were "neutralized" in Turkey's eastern Bitlis and Bingöl, and southeastern Diyarbakır and Mardin provinces, and in northern Iraq from March 24-30.

"It was stated [during the meeting] that terrorists in Manbij should be removed from the region as soon as possible, or else Turkey will not abstain from taking initiative", said a statement. He said Macron only offered renewed political support for the Syrian Democratic Forces, promising to "continue this fight together".

A VOA reporter in northern Syria who visited the site said the USA troops are stationed mostly across the Sajur river area in northwest Manbij, bordering near the Turkey-backed Syrian fighters.

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Macron's office wouldn't comment on the different interpretations of what happened at his meeting with the Syrian Democratic Forces.

"We have no need for mediation".

Erdogan spoke last week with Macron about the French president's criticism of Turkey's Afrin campaign.

Macron also pledged French support in maintaining security in Turkey, and reiterated France's opposition to the Kurdish rebel group, PKK.

"We hope they will not dare to seek our help when France is filled with terrorists fleeing from Syria and Iraq after being encouraged by French policies", Erdogan added. Thomas Adamson in Paris contributed.

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