Syria

Fearing expulsion to their homeland, thousands of Syrian refugees are quietly fleeing Turkey

International

With next June's Turkish presidential election fast approaching, the issue of Syrian refugees in the country has become a major topic for political parties. Politicians' speeches on the subject, repeated at every opportunity, are contributing to the growing wave of racism shown by many Turkish citizens towards immigrants in general - and Syrians in particular. Mediapart correspondent Hussam Hammoud reports from Gaziantep in southern Turkey on the plight of his fellow Syrians in the country.

France repatriates 51 women and children from Syria camps

International — Link

The 16 women, aged 22 to 39, and 35 minors arrived in France on Tuesday from several camps in north-east Syria where they were interned following the territorial defeat of the so-called Islamic State group in 2019. 

How three orphans of French jihadists remain abandoned by Paris in Syria

International

Three young orphans of French jihadist parents who died after joining the ranks of the so-called Islamic State group in Syria have been held in orphanages in Damascus since November 2019. The aunt of two of them has been campaigning for their return to France, but the French authorities have told her they cannot help with the repatriation. “It’s a political question, but it is these children who suffer the consequences,” says their aunt. “They have already paid for the choices made by their parents.” Céline Martelet reports.

How three orphans of French jihadist parents became left in limbo in Syria

International

Three young orphans of French jihadist parents killed in Syria after joining the ranks of the so-called Islamic State group have been held in orphanages in Damascus since November 2019. The aunt of two of them has been campaigning for their return to France, but the French authorities have told her they cannot help. “It’s a political question, but it is these children who suffer the consequences,” says their aunt. “They have already paid for the choices made by their parents.” Céline Martelet reports.

French firm Lafarge to face 'crimes against humanity' complicity charge

France — Link

Following an appeal court ruling, the cement giant must now face charges of complicity in crimes against humanity over alleged payoffs to Islamic State group and other jihadist groups during Syria's civil war.

French fears over 'another Syria' as 150 fighters head to Ukraine

International — Investigation

Fighters have been arriving from all corners of the planet to help defend Ukraine itself against the Russian invasion. Mediapart has been told that these foreign fighters include around 150 from France. The authorities in Paris meanwhile worry there could be a repeat of the problems seen during the Syrian war when French fighters went to combat Bashar al-Assad's regime – and came back radicalised. Sébastien Bourdon and Matthieu Suc report.

Inside the bloody world of Islamic State's British 'Beatles'

France — Investigation

In the second of two articles based on interrogations by United States intelligence officials, Mediapart tells the story of the four notorious British jihadists who were to become known as 'The Beatles'. As Matthieu Suc reports, they were the first terrorists to represent to the wider world the true threat posed by Islamic State.

The fall of Macron and Hollande's Syrian 'friend'

France — Investigation

He has been variously described as a “billionaire, a “peacemaker” and a key figure in “inter-faith dialogue”. For ten years French political and religious leaders have rolled out the red carpet for Mohamad Izzat Khatab, a Syrian businessman whose past is shrouded in mystery. According to an investigation by Mediapart, this fan of selfies taken with the rich and powerful has just been placed under investigation in relation to a vast fraud case. Antton Rouget reports.

French firm Lafarge loses bid to halt 'crimes against humanity' case

International — Link

Ruling by top French court marks a major setback for Lafarge, which is accused of paying nearly 13 million euros to jihadist groups including the Islamic State (IS) to keep its cement factory in northern Syria running through the early years of the country's war.

Ten French women who joined IS go on hunger strike in Syria camp

International — Link

Human rights experts from the UN have urged 57 countries, including Britain and France, to repatriate the wives and children of jihadists.

French Christian NGO's links to pro-Assad Syrian militia

International — Investigation

French Catholic association SOS Chrétiens d’Orient (SOS Christians of the Orient) claims to help Christians in Syria without interfering in the conflict that for nine years has been tearing the country apart. But as an investigation for Mediapart has already shown, it has forged close relations with bodies and people supporting the Damascus regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. And as this second investigation reveals, the NGO - which for several years has been a 'National Defence Partner' of France's Ministry of Armed Forces – also supports pro-Assad militia.

French NGO 'Christians of the Orient' and its ties with the Assad regime

International — Investigation

French association SOS Chrétiens d’Orient (SOS Christians of the Orient) is a self-declared "apolitical" not-for-profit NGO, which sends volunteers and staff across the Middle East with the stated aim of supporting the region’s persecuted Christians, notably in Syria. But, as this investigation for Mediapart reveals, its links with the French far-right and its close relations with bodies and people supporting the Damascus regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad raise disturbing questions about its mission.

France repatriates 10 children from Syria

France — Link

No details on their destination in France nor the circumstances under which they left Syria were provided.

President Assad's uncle jailed in France for money laundering

International — Link

Rifaat al-Assad was convicted of embezzling Syrian state funds to buy homes and offices worth €90m (£80m) to build a French property portfolio.

French anti-terrorist judge urges return of IS jihadists

International — Link

David De Pas, coordinator of France's 12 anti-terrorism examining magistrates, said that it would be "better to know that these people are in the care of the judiciary" in France "than let them roam free".