French Troops Engaged In Secret Anti-ISIS War In Libya
The French daily 'Le Monde' revealed on Wednesday that France is currently engaged in a secret war against radical jihadist group ISIS in war-torn Libya with French special forces and intelligence operatives being deployed for covert operations in the North African nation.
France's covert military activities against the militants 'involved occasional targeted strikes against leaders of the ultra-radical Islamist group, prepared by discreet action on the ground, to try to slow its growth in Libya' as quoted in a report by the Business Insider.
The defense minister denies any French link to a purported 'secret war' in Libya. However, a plan for legitimate EU intervention is currently being formulated but requires a reliable Libyan government to make the request of deploying EU forces on the ground official.
But Paris' recent experience with terrorist attacks involving ISIS operatives in Europe as well as the mounting refugee crisis convinced French officials to come up with a swift decisive action at a time when EU is unable to act collectively.
"Isis is creating a real African jihadi army, we can see mass arrivals of jihadists, they are impossible to control for the simple reason that they use the same route as migrants. The airstrikes can reduce the shock that is coming, but they need ground troops to stop it," said Paris-based terrorism expert David Thomson as mentioned in an article by The Guardian.
Meanwhile, the French government is now investigating leaks of its military activities overseas warning that those responsible for the release of sensitive state secrets will face a three-year prison term and a $50,000 fine.
"The investigation should establish if details covered by defense secrecy rules were revealed in this article. When secret operations are taking place, the goal is to ensure they are not revealed for the security of the men and the operations," a source close to Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said as quoted by Newsweek.