France says all options should be considered in Kobani situation

While expressing support for a Turkish suggestion to set up a buffer zone on the Syrian-Turkish border near the embattled Kurdish town of Kobane, France said on Thursday that the situation was urgent and fraught with risks and all options must be examined concerning Kobane and the advance of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) forces.

On Wednesday, President Francois Hollande spoke with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and said he supported Erdogan’s idea for a “buffer zone” on the Turkish border.

The Turkish leader also called for an air exclusion zone, which would be more complicated and might need a UN Security Council resolution.

“Taking into account the urgency and the risks, all options must be studied,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said in a briefing.

Nadal stressed that the buffer zone would exist to “accept and protect displaced persons” and that its installation, “no matter what the modalities envisaged, necessitates close international coordination.” Separately, the French official reiterated his government’s support for the “democratic Syrian opposition”, support which includes “lethal and non-lethal” military aid.

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