Auto Shows Document France 2. Revelations on the Sirli operation in Egypt: The former Director of French military intelligence confirms the existence of a secret mission
The Chief of Staff of the French Armies completes a visit to the Sahel
© AFP - Daniel Cole General Thierry Burkhard is the chief of staff of the French armies since July. General Thierry Burkhard is the chief of staff of the French armies since July. He completed a visit that led him to Chad, Niger, then in Mali and during which there was talk of the end of Operation Barkhane. If the Sahel was chosen for its first trip is that the Chief of Staff had messages to pass.
since the revelations, by the Disclose Investigation Site, an operation Secret of France in Egypt, the French authorities rush in silence. From the Ministry of Defense to the Elysée, passing by the Quai d'Orsay, all invoke the defense secret. But a key man confirms the existence of this mission, in an exclusive interview given to "further investigation".
July 2015. General Christophe Gomart supports Jean-Yves Le Drian, then Minister of Defense, an official visit to Cairo (Egypt). On a backdrop of arms sales, France accepted then to help Egypt monitor its border withsince the fall of Colonel Gaddafi.
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interviewed by the magazine of France 2 "Investigation Supply" ( In partnership with the Military Intelligence Directorate (DRM), the secret services of the French army, confirms during an interview organized last week l The existence of this military cooperation with the Egyptians: "They wanted to make sure there are no jihadist groups (...) who arrive from Libya in particular. It is still a region that is well destabilized", he remembers.investigation site), the former boss of
A secret mission diverted from its initial goal
video: Operation Sirli in Egypt: "Disclose" reveals the drifts of an operation of France (France 24)
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according to General Gomart, the two country then sign a cooperation agreement to track terrorists. And the Directorate of InformationMilitaires sees entrusting a clip. Code name "Sirli". "In terms of information, (Egyptians) have no satellite imaging and not necessarily the same means as the French army," he explains.
In early 2016, aboard an airplane equipped with communications interception equipment and a powerful camera, DRM soldiers fly over the Egyptian West looking for suspicious pickups and terrorists. The French soldiers then share their listening and their images with the Egyptians. But very quickly, the men of the Sirri mission realize that their partners are only interested in traffickers and other smugglers who cross this border that runs in the middle of over 1,200 km. Never to potential terrorists, according to the confidential documents we could consult.
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of the concerns of French soldiers
especially, the French worked on the first months of their mission. According to them, their information could be used to guide ground bombardments, contrary to the agreement signed with Egypt. In September 2016, the DRM team thus notes the destruction of a vehicle a few minutes after reporting to Egyptians. In a confidential note that we procured, the French soldiers alert: "The typing has most probably been perpetrated" by a plane spotted in the sector, and whose presence attests to the will of the Army of the Egyptian air To use the information (Sirli) for repressive purposes against local traffic, "they write.
Asked about these bombings, the former boss of the DRM is formal: "To my knowledge we have never given any information that has then allowed to execute people." But he tempers immediately: "that the information we have had then had potentially consequences for terrorists, I hope, or on traffickers of arms or human beings: they were people who were Potential fighters for jihadists and others were people who were 'bad guys'. "
Christophe Gomart left the army and retired in the summer of 2017. But Operation Sirli continued under the five-year fifth of Emmanuel Macron.
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