Why were 60 French snipers on their way to a US base in Syria?
Abandoned by Kurd escort, they are left at Syrian checkpoint: news from Взгляд*, French commentary by Karine Bechet-Golovko
The question of the French military presence on the ground in Syria is an extremely delicate issue: Syria is a sovereign state, which has not called on the Republic to help it. Ground forces would therefore be signs of … occupation.
However, 60 French snipers have just been challenged by the Syrian regular army, after getting lost. Rest assured, they were released, but what were they doing there? What are we doing there? Strangely, no news of this filters into the French press …
The facts: 60 French soldiers on the ground in Syria outside of any international mandate.
On May 1, at the border between Iraq and Syria, a procession of 20 white Jeeps with 60 French soldiers met a group of Syrian Democratic Forces (Kurds) who were to accompany them into Syrian territory.
Leaving Iraq, the French military and the Kurdish group had to go together to El Qamichli, which the Kurdish and regular Syrian forces share. But arrived at the city of Al-Malikiyah, strangely, the two groups separate and the French continue alone.
It is then that in the El Hassekeh region, they are mistake their way: instead of passing through the Kurdish checkpoint, they head straight for the checkpoint held by the regular Syrian army, to which they surrender without any resistance.
While searching the vehicles, the Syrian soldiers discover sniper rifles, night sights and various weapons of war. Strange arsenal for “advisers,” as stated by Paris:
The French Ministry of Defense had acknowledged in June 2016 the presence of French special forces in Syria “to advise the FDS against the IS”
From the interrogation, we learn that these soldiers, French snipers, then were to go to the center of Syria, in El Hassekeh, then even more deeply to Deir ez Zor, zone held by the Americans, who have the unfortunate tendency to fire upon the Syrian regular army that dares to get too close … on its territory …
The Kurds intervened and negotiated their release, which was done, since the Syrian Democratic Forces recently joined forces with the government in the fight against ISIS. But the French did not explain what their mission was in a foreign country.
French aid to the Kurds
The question of the French presence on the ground in Syria raises the question of the legality of French intervention in a sovereign country, outside the UN mandate and not at the request of the country concerned. As early as 2016 the Ministry of Defense acknowledged a “certain” French presence, without ever specifying either its scale, its missions, or its deployment. The fuzziness is proffered when the illegality is patent.
In March of this year, President Macron declares that it is necessary to help the Kurds, against the Turks. And that in Syria. On what mandate? None. But you have to. The French Presidency is trying to swap the indefensible legality with a communicable legitimacy. However, here, too, politics isin circles. And for good reason, since the operation remains totally illegal:
After the meeting with Emmanuel Macron, a representative of the Syrian Kurds in Paris said that the French president had promised to send French troops to the Manbij region. Friday, the Elysee denied this statement, saying that “France does not plan a new military operation on the ground in northern Syria outside the international anti-Daesh coalition (acronym for IS in Arabic)” .
When Russia intervened in Syria, there was a debate in Parliament, an official presidential decision confirming political consensus. When France intervenes in Syria, it hides behind the United States apron, and sends snipers who get lost in the desert.
Could the French Government perhaps explain to us what combat we are waging in Syria and on what basis?
- The interception of the convoy is also published in Взгляд.