Keyword: Syria

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.

France calls for opening of humanitarian corridors in Syria

Defence minister Florence Parly said France was monitoring the situation 'closely and that the air strikes 'need to end'.

France believes Assad using chlorine gas in Syria

In TV interview foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said 'all indications' suggested that the Syrian regime used the poison gas.

Secret services fear Islamic State 'travel agency' could return jihadists to France

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A jihadist in a tunnel underneath the former Islamic State-held city of Mosul. A jihadist in a tunnel underneath the former Islamic State-held city of Mosul.

The Islamic State terrorist organisation has been quietly preparing for the loss of its self-styled Caliphate for several months. France's security services now fear that its fighters might be moved to other areas of jihadist conflict or into Europe. In particular they have have raised concerns over the role of the terrorist's mysterious 'Emigration and Logistics Committee' based in Turkey, the Lebanon and Jordan, amid fears it may be used to send French and other European jihadists back to their country of origin. Matthieu Suc reports.

Frenchwoman on US terror blacklist detained in Syria

The 33-year-old daughter of a gendarme is 'being held in a Kurdish camp and has been 'interrogated and tortured' says her mother.

Macron rebuffs 'unacceptable' Assad attacks on France's role in Syria

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad the 'enemy' of his people and described comments by Assad that France's 'hands are soaked in Syrian blood' as 'unacceptable'. 

Macron predicts Islamic State group defeat in Syria by end of February

In a recorded television interview broadcast on Sunday by the France 2 channel, French President Emmanuel Macron said that following the rout of the so-called Islamic State group in Iraq 'I think that by the middle to the end of February, we will have won the war in Syria', adding that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad 'will have to respond to his crimes before his people, before the international courts'.

Lafarge 'Islamic State payments' probe centres on 15m-dollar fund

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A Lafarge industrial plant in Paris. © Reuters A Lafarge industrial plant in Paris. © Reuters

A French investigation into alleged payments to jihadist groups, including Islamic State, by French cement-making giant Lafarge in order to ensure the functioning of one of its plants in Syria is focussing on a fund of more than 15 million dollars set aside by the company for its operations in the war-torn country, according to documents obtained by Mediapart. Fabrice Arfi reports.

Ex-LafargeHolcim CEO 'under formal investigation' in France

In June prosecutors launched an investigation into LafargeHolcim’s Syrian operations and its possible 'financing of a terrorist enterprise'.

French cement firm execs face probe over 'financing Islamic State'

By , and Julien Antoine
A Lafarge lorry photographed in the Paris region in April 2014. © Reuters A Lafarge lorry photographed in the Paris region in April 2014. © Reuters

Two former executives at giant French cement manufacturers Lafarge and the head of its security – a former election candidate for Marine Le Pen's far-right Front National – have been formally placed under investigation for alleged “financing of terrorism”. It follows an investigation by French prosecutors into links between the French group – now merged with a Swiss firm – and jihadist groups such as Islamic State. In 2013 and 2014 the cement group maintained its activities in zones in Syria which were at the time controlled by IS and other armed factions. Fabrice Arfi, Michel Deléan and Julien Antoine report.

The threat from Islamic State's 'fifth column' in Europe

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Eight of the terrorists behind attacks against Europe. From left to right and from top to bottom: Oussama Atar, Boubakeur el-Hakim, Salim Benghalem, Samir Nouad, Abdelnacer Benyoucef, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, Najim Laachraoui and Ahmad Alkhald. © DR Eight of the terrorists behind attacks against Europe. From left to right and from top to bottom: Oussama Atar, Boubakeur el-Hakim, Salim Benghalem, Samir Nouad, Abdelnacer Benyoucef, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, Najim Laachraoui and Ahmad Alkhald. © DR

Jihadi veterans have been seeking to cause disarray among European intelligence agencies with hoax attacks that distract from real ones and attempts to infiltrate public agencies and companies. As a result security official are having huge difficulties in trying to measure the true scale of the terrorist threat that faces us. In the last of this lengthy series of investigations on Islamic State's intelligence operations, Matthieu Suc reports on the dangers still posed by jihadist agents operating within Europe despite Islamic State's major reverses in Iraq and Syria.

Radicalised French mother who followed son to Syria jailed ten years

A Paris court on Friday sentenced Christine Rivière, 51, nicknamed 'Jihadi Granny', to a maximum ten years in jail for 'association with criminals preparing a terrorist attack' after she encouraged her son's activities within the ranks of the Islamic State group in Syria, where she later joined him on several occasions.