Keyword: Syria

Cement firm Lafarge face French probe over Syria militant payoffs

French company that later merged with Swiss firm is under formal investigation into claims it funded armed Syrian groups to keep a plant open. 

Phone tap reveals panic of Lafarge shareholders over Islamic State funding affair

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Bruno Lafont when he was CEO of Lafarge, on February 18th, 2015. © Reuters Bruno Lafont when he was CEO of Lafarge, on February 18th, 2015. © Reuters

An intercepted telephone call involving the former boss of French cement firm Lafarge, which is accused of funding terrorist group Islamic State to keep its Syrian cement plant in production, shows the extend of the “worry” that has gripped the company, which has since become a Franco-Swiss multinational. Just how far – and to whom – will the current judicial investigation extend? Fabrice Arfi reports.

France asked US not to bomb Lafarge factory in Syria in 2014

Email shows that France's Syrian envoy thought it 'legitimate' to approach US over cement plant in area controlled at the time by Islamic State.

Red carpet treatment belies differences as Macron arrives in US

Presidents Trump and Macron are expected to tackle pressing foreign policy issues from Iran deal to Syria as French leader starts US state visit.

French frigate's cruise missiles 'failed to launch' during Syria strikes

One of three French navy frigates taking part with the US and Britain in last weekend's strikes against chemical weapons sites in Syria found itself unable to launch its cruise missiles, the first time France had employed them in action, requiring one of the other vessels to take over its role and fire its own missiles, this time successfully, against the designated targets.

France to strip Syria's Assad of Légion d'honneur award

The French presidency confirmed on Monday that a procedure has begun to strip Bashar al-Assad of his Légion d'honneur award, France's highest honour for actions of civil merit, given to him in 2001 by France's then-president Jacques Chirac.

France warns more strikes will meet any further use of chemical arms

French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Saturday that the air strikes by the US, France and Britain on Syrian targets overnight were 'proportionate and targeted' and warned that they would be repeated if the Damascus regime used chemical weapons in the future, but also insisted that France will pursue diplomatic channels to help reach an end to the Syrian civil war.

US, France and UK launch strikes on Syrian 'chemical plant' sites

France has joined the US and Britain in attacks overnight Friday against sites in Syria identified as production plants for chemical weapons, in response to a suspected chemical attack on the Syrian rebel-held town of Douma last week.

Paris repeates pledge to retaliate if Assad chemical arms strike proven

French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux on Tuesday reiterated previous warnings that France would 'respond' against the Damascus regime if evidence proves it used chemical weapons in an attack on rebel-held Douma at the weekend.

Saudi prince in Paris for talks on Yemen, Syria and Iran deal

After tough talks with France last year over Iran, Prince Mohammed's regime is not expected to announce any new major trade deals with Paris.

Macron vows support for northern Syrians and Kurdish militia

French president 'paid tribute' to Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces while Kurds say he has also promised to send more troops to area.

France tells national media to halt all travel to Syria

The French foreign ministry has written to the country's news organisations urging that due to the 'upsurge' in violence in Syria, 'in particular eastern Ghouta and the Afrin region' they should suspend sending staff to the war-torn country.

France's plans to deal with Islamic State's 'child assassins'

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Image from an Islamic State propaganda video broadcast in December 2016. © DR Image from an Islamic State propaganda video broadcast in December 2016. © DR

A jihadist from Toulouse in south-west France who fought in Syria has claimed that Islamic State has been planning attacks to be carried out by children in Europe. Though only one suspicious case has been found among the 70 or so minors who have returned to France from the Syria and Iraq battle zones so far, the French authorities are taking the threat seriously. According to Mediapart's information, children aged as young as 13 could be placed in custody when they arrive in France from that region. Matthieu Suc reports.

The dilemma for Paris over French jihadists captured in Syria and Iraq

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An Islamic State propaganda photo of one of its sharpshooters. © DR An Islamic State propaganda photo of one of its sharpshooters. © DR

In the wake of the military defeats of the Islamic State group in the Middle East, a total of about 100 French nationals, including jihadist fighters, women and children, are now detained in Iraq and in Kurd-controlled territory in Syria. Their situation represents a dilemma for the French government, which is tempted to leave them in the hands of their captors and their justice systems, but which is under pressure from lawyers acting for their families who argue that to do so is unlawful and inhumane. Michel Deléan and Matthieu Suc report on the debate, and hear the arguments, which include security concerns, for and against their return.

Macron says France ready to strike Syria over use of chemical weapons

French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that if France 'proven evidence that chemical weapons proscribed in treaties are used, we will strike the place where they are made' following reports that signs that chlorine bombs had been used against civilians by the Damascus regime.