Assault on Idlib risks ‘scattering terrorists’ abroad: Paris

French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian delivers a speech at the annual French ambassadors' conference in Paris, France, August 29, 2018. (Reuters/File)
Updated 11 September 2018

Assault on Idlib risks ‘scattering terrorists’ abroad: Paris

  • French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned Tuesday that a Syrian government offensive on the last rebel stronghold of Idlib could scatter thousands of terrorists

PARIS: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned Tuesday that a Syrian government offensive on the last rebel stronghold of Idlib could scatter thousands of foreign terrorists abroad, posing a security threat to the West.
“There are in all likelihood dozens of French fighters from both Al-Qaeda and Daesh” in Idlib, Le Drian told France’s BFMTV, warning that there were “also many terrorists from other nations who could scatter” in the event of a joint Syrian-Russian offensive, posing “risks for our security.
Le Drian said there was “still time to guard against this scenario” and expressed support for Turkey “in its efforts to keep the population safe, particularly the civilian population.”
France, the European country worst hit by a wave of attacks since 2015, has been on high alert for radicals returning home from areas in Iraq and Syria that have been recaptured from Daesh.
Le Drian estimated at “between 10,000 and 15,000” the number of terrorists left in Idlib.
“The attack being prepared by the Syrian regime with Russia’s backing is extremely dangerous,” he said.


Egypt announces new Libya plan after collapse of Haftar offensive

Updated 06 June 2020

Egypt announces new Libya plan after collapse of Haftar offensive

  • El-Sisi said the plan included a call for the exit of all foreign fighters from Libya
  • He proposed an elected leadership council and a cease-fire starting on June 8

CAIRO: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi announced a new initiative for Libya on Saturday, flanked by the war-torn nation’s eastern commander Khalifa Haftar, proposing an elected leadership council and a cease-fire starting on June 8.
El-Sisi, who was also accompanied in Cairo by eastern Libyan parliament head Aguila Saleh, said the plan included a call for negotiations in Geneva and for the exit of all foreign fighters from Libya.
Libya has had no stable central authority since dictator Muammar Qaddafi was overthrown by NATO-backed rebels in 2011. For more than five years it has had rival parliaments and governments in the east and the west, with streets often controlled by armed groups.
El-Sisi’s announcement comes after the abrupt collapse of a 14-month offensive by Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) to try to take control of the capital, Tripoli.
The retreat, reversing many of Haftar’s gains from last year when he raced toward Tripoli, extends the control of the rival Government of National Accord (GNA) across most of northwest Libya. Haftar and allied groups still control the east and much of the south, as well as most of Libya’s oilfields, however.
Multiple previous attempts to establish truces and a return to negotiations have foundered, though the United Nations has started holding separate talks with both sides for a cease-fire deal in recent days.