France Special Forces Building Military Base against ISIS in Syria’s Kobani

France Special Forces Building Military Base against ISIS in Syria’s Kobani
Wed Jun 15, 2016 16:25:37

French Special Forces were tasked with training the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and building a military base near Kobani ahead of a major offensive on the ISIS-held city of Manbij, said a former Kobani official on Wednesday.

"French soldiers arrived in Kobani along with US troops to take part in liberating Manbij. They are primarily tasked with coordinating the US-led coalition airstrikes, consulting and providing training to Manbij's Military council and the Syrian Democratic Forces," said former Kobani official and political analyst Idris Nessan, Sputnik reported.

The French on the ground are not expected to take part in combat, at least for now, and Nessan could not disclose how many French soldiers were present in Kobani, however he added that additional troops could arrive if required.

Manbij is a strategically important city located southwest of Kobani in Northern Syria. It has been surrounded by Kurdish and Arab fighters, but ISIS militants are still maintaining their grip on the urban area itself.

The siege has dealt a major blow to the terrorist group that relies heavily on unfettered access to Turkey that has allowed the organization to regroup, rearm and resupply. Manbij has also served as a key link between the border region and the Syrian city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the ISIS.

"France also intends to build a military base in Kobani. However, contrary to earlier reports, construction works will not take place at the Mistenur hill. The facility will instead be located in the South of Kobani," he explained.

No military activity has been detected at Mistenur, he added.

"In addition, this area is not suitable for building a base due to security reasons. The French forces have been stationed at a cement factory to the South of Kobani," he noted.

France admitted that its special forces were deployed to Northern Syria last week. "We are helping with arms, we are helping with aerial support, we are helping with advice," France's Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

French army spokesman Colonel Gilles Jaron later confirmed the information, but refused to provide additional information to protect the Special Forces involved in the operation, FNA reported.

S/SH 11

string(202) "[{"id":"1828597","sort":"3566265","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/06/15/alalam_636016008627783721_25f_4x3.mp4","title":"VIDEO: Syria Condemns French, German Special Forces Presence in Syrian Towns"} ]"