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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Hollande: France Supports Idea of Creating Buffer Zone Between Turkey, Syria

RIA Novosti

19:37 08/10/2014

PARIS, October 8 (RIA Novosti) - French President Francois Hollande has expressed support for the idea of creating a buffer zone between Turkey and Syria to ensure the safety of civilians, the president's office said in a statement Wednesday.

'The President of the Republic supports [Turkish] President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan who proposed the idea of creating a buffer zone between Syria and Turkey for the reception and protection of displaced persons,' the French presidential administration said in a communique.

During a telephone conversation, the two leaders noted the alarming situation in the north of Syria, especially in the city of Kobani. The French president stressed the importance of avoiding the slaughter of civilians.

Hollande and Erdogan also agreed on the need to support the so-called 'moderate Syrian opposition' that opposes both the Islamic State militants and the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Speaking about the situation in Iraq, the presidents also expressed their support for the forces fighting the IS. Additionally, they noted the importance of the full integration of the Sunni population and its representatives into the political life of the country.

On Tuesday, Erdogan suggested the establishment of a no-fly zone and a buffer zone in the area and said that airstrikes without a ground operation would not stop the advance of IS militants.

The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq, declaring a caliphate on the territories over which it had control. Thousands of people, mostly religious minorities, have been forced to flee fearing capture, torture or death.

Following the group's advance, the United States and its allies launched airstrikes against IS targets in Iraq and Syria and promised to send military aid for Iraqi, Kurdish and 'moderate' Syrian opposition forces.

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