From Sputnik today:
France does not demand the unconditional ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad anymore as it is mainly focused on the fight against terrorism in Syria, France's Ambassador to Russia Sylvie Bermann told Russia's Kommersant newspaper in an interview released on Sunday. ...The French regime might settle in Syria for years to fight terrorism if the cement supply for terrorists there isn't cut off.
From Voltaire Network, April 28:
The French judicial investigation into the relationship between the French group Lafarge and jihadist groups committed to destabilizing the Syrian government has just shed light on the close ties between Lafarge and the French Secret Services.
Lafarge is a transnational group whose core business is manufacturing cement. Judge Charlotte Bilger, tasked with investigating a complaint filed by several of Lafarge’s former employers, has ended up extending her investigations into the group’s activities in Syria. The judge has asked if Lafarge provided cement to the Islamic Emirates (Daesh).
Even before legal proceedings were initiated in Paris, the journalist Thierry Meyssan had revealed that Lafarge’s factory in Syria had supplied various jihadi groups with 8 million m3 of cement, which was intended to be used to construct fortifications and underground installations. The transnational is refusing to comment on these issues.
Meyssan has also made other interesting revelations:
• The former Secretary of State and two-time US Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, had been counsel and on the board of directors of Lafarge.
• Lafarge had provided services to the CIA.
«Lafarge : L’État français au centre de l’affaire», «L’usine syrienne, fournisseuse de l’ÉI?», Ismaël Halissat et Willy Ledevin, Libération, 23 avril 2018.
Translation: Anoosha BoralessaTo get an idea of the size of the Lafarge-Syria can of worms, enter the terms into a search engine. The can got opened a few years ago, and since then major globalized news publications, including the (U.K.) Financial Times and New York Times, have held their noses and peered inside.
In February Turkey's Daily Sabah business section published the findings of their investigation into the scandal, Turkey's security concerns continue as Lafarge contracts with terrorist groups in Syria remain secret
DS seems pretty much a mouthpiece for the Erdogan regime and the country's ruling political party (as if a news organization in today's Turkey could be anything else), but in this case it means the newspaper had enough resources to conduct a thorough examination.
Although DS tells the Lafarge story in Syria from Turkey's point of view, the lengthy report, replete with satellite photos, provides many insights into the kind of situation that can develop during any long-running war.
Much of Lafarge's deals with terrorists strike me as part war profiteering and part blinkered pragmatism, as the company kept operations going in a region where where control by militant factions routinely changed hands.
However, the claims that French and American secret services were involved with Lafarge operations in Syria, if 'proven,' would be more evidence that elements in Paris and Washington at the governmental level were actively assisting Islamic State and other terrorist groups in Syria.
The claims also point to an important factor in the terrorists' allover warfighting strategy in Syria (and Iraq), which has been the construction of tunnels and veritable cities underground. While many of the tunnels were hewn from solid rock they were often reinforced by concrete, and of course the underground buildings were made from concrete.
Indeed, the large use of cement in building networks of underground structures is a feature of modern insurgency warfare.
For this reason one might ask Lafarge, 'What were you thinking?'
The same question could be put to the French and U.S. militaries if they were involved.