France ad­mits spe­cial forces in Syria ad­vis­ing rebels

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

PARIS—France has de­ployed spe­cial forces in north­ern Syria to ad­vise the Syr­ian Demo­cratic Forces (SDF) fight­ing the ISIS group, a defense min­istry of­fi­cial said Fri­day.

“The of­fen­sive at Man­bij is clearly be­ing backed by a cer­tain num­ber of states in­clud­ing France. It’s the usual sup­port — it’s ad­vi­sory,” the of­fi­cial told AFP, with­out giv­ing fur­ther de­tails on the de­ploy­ment.

France un­til now has only ac­knowl­edged the pres­ence in the re­gion of around 150 mem­bers of its spe­cial forces, de­ployed in Iraqi Kur­dis­tan.

The SDF, a US-backed Kur­dish and Arab al­liance, are on the north­ern edge of Man­bij, a strate­gic town held by ISIS that serves as a way­point be­tween the Turk­ish border and the mil­i­tant’ strong­hold of Raqqa.

The French spe­cial forces will not in­ter­vene mil­i­tar­ily them­selves and are not sup­posed to en­gage in com­bat with IS mil­i­tants.—Agencies

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