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Topics : “It’s out of the question to change the location of Turkish observation points,” Kalin said, referring to Turkish military outposts that have the task of monitoring a cease-fire in Idlib under a deal with Russia and Iran. “We will keep reinforcing the area. There’s no doubt that Turkey will respond to attacks in Idlib in the strongest way.”The standoff between the two regional powerbrokers is threatening a rupture in their uneasy relationship and prompting Turkey to reboot ties with the US after years of tensions. Erdogan has threatened to use force before the end of February if Syrian forces don’t withdraw from the vicinity of four Turkish military outposts or stage a new attack on Turkish forces who suffered 14 dead earlier this month.‘Tough Guy’Trump called Erdogan a “tough guy” who doesn’t want people to be killed in great numbers, adding that he has a “a good relationship” with Erdogan. Turkey has started a mass deployment of tanks, commandos and armored personnel carriers in Idlib to stop the advance of Syrian forces. The offensive triggered an exodus of hundreds of thousands of people in cold weather toward neighboring Turkey, which already hosts the largest number of refugees in the world.Turkey has now sealed off the entire Syrian border with high cement walls and is building houses within Syria to shelter new refugees beyond its border. Towns and displacement camps west of Aleppo were hit by shelling in recent days, and roads are packed with vehicles, according to disaster-relief group Medecins Sans Frontieres.“The people fleeing north are being squeezed into a territory that is getting smaller and smaller” between the front line to the east and the closed Turkish border to the west, Julien Delozanne, MSF head of mission for Syria, said Tuesday in an emailed statement. A new influx of people to the area will make the already harsh living conditions in the camps “even worse” he said.“Attacks are now taking place in areas that were previously considered to be safe,” Delozanne said. Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are teaming up to stop Russian-backed attacks on Syria’s last rebel stronghold after Turkey rejected a proposal by Moscow to relocate its troops in Idlib.“We are working together on seeing what can be done,” the US president said at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Tuesday, according to C-SPAN. “You have a lot of warring going on right now.”Only hours earlier, Turkey refused a plan outlined by Russia that included a map with a proposed relocation of Turkish troops in Syria’s opposition-controlled Idlib province. Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for Erdogan, said two days of talks in Moscow yielded “no satisfactory result.”
But while surrounded by police during a neighbourhood tour beforehand, a young woman wearing a burgundy niqab walked up to him through the crowd, a scene caught on camera and soon posted to social media.She then removed the lower part of the veil for a selfie with the president, who obliged as usual with a wide smile.The official fines of up to 150 euros ($160) for wearing clothing denoting a religious affiliation are only rarely applied, which has long irked rightwing parties accusing officials of being too lax against so-called Islamic separatism.A lawmaker from the far-right National Rally party, Bruno Bilde, assailed Macron for “letting this person flagrantly violate the law of 2010”. “Before attempting to win back the republic [from Islamists], we must apply the republic’s laws,” he said in a question submitted to Interior Minister Christophe Castaner.National Rally leader Marine Le Pen, expected to again be Macron’s main adversary in presidential elections set for 2022, had already demanded to know Tuesday if the young woman “had been stopped by police, as the law requires?”During his speech, Macron announced a series of steps to counter “foreign influences” on Islam in France, notably by gradually expelling the roughly 300 imams currently sent to preach in France by countries including Algeria and Turkey.France will also step up its oversight of foreigners brought in to teach optional language classes, who currently are subject to limited oversight by French authorities.”The problem we have today with this system is that we have more and more teachers who don’t speak French,” Macron said.Taking aim at Turkey particularly, he said he would let “no country stoke separatism on French soil, whether religious, political or identity-related”.Turkey’s parliament speaker Mustafa Sentop hit back on Wednesday, accusing Macron of “primitive islamophobia”. Critics argue that in some French immigrant communities, Arabic teachers encourage extremist ideas that could radicalise young people, a potent fear in a country hit by a wave of Islamic terror attacks since 2015 which have killed more than 250 people.Topics : Far-right lawmakers took aim at French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday after a woman wearing a full-face veil approached him ahead of a speech announcing new measures to fight Islamic “separatism” in the country.Such veils, known as niqabs, have become a political lightning rod in France since 2010, when it became the first European country to ban them in public.Critics say their use underscores the push by some Muslims to live apart from traditional French society, something Macron vowed to combat in a speech on Tuesday in Mulhouse, eastern France.