Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Ethiopia's Political Crackdown

Read more

THE DEBATE

The fall of Carlos Ghosn: Japanese accuse Renault-Nissan boss of tax fraud

Read more

FOCUS

How a toxic pesticide poisoned French Caribbean island of Martinique

Read more

ENCORE!

New show! The best of television this November

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

'Age old cities' exhibition: 'It's part of our history that's been destroyed'

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Carlos Ghosn arrest: The fall from grace of a 'workaholic'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French government calls for interim leadership to replace Ghosn at Renault

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Nigerian opposition leader Atiku Abubakar launches presidential campaign

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Social media drives 'yellow vest' protests

Read more

France

French soldier killed in Iraq-Syria military zone, Élysée Palace says

© Fadel Senna, AFP | French soldiers from the Wagram Task Force kneel next to a CAESAR unit, a French self-propelled 155mm howitzer, north of Mosul on July 13.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-09-23

A French special forces soldier was killed in combat this morning in the Iraq-Syria region, the French presidency announced on Saturday.

The Élysée Palace said in a statement that President Emmanuel Macron had "learned with great sadness" of the death of a soldier from the 13th regiment of paratroopers who was killed in combat in the Levant.

The French military operation in Iraq and Syria, known as Opération Chammal, is part of the US-led coalition of nations battling the Islamic State group. Military sources told AFP that it was the first French casualty since Chammal was launched in September 2014.

French forces are involved in several overseas military theatres, while a major domestic military deployment also remains active as part of anti-terrorism measures under Opération Sentinelle.

Former military general Dominique Trinquand, who once led the French military mission at the UN, told FRANCE 24 that French forces have been in Iraq "for a while" and in Syria since at least the spring.

Former general Dominique Trinquand speaks to FRANCE 24

The 13th parachute regiment is a French special forces unit that is not officially present in either Syria or Iraq. Trinquand said the details of special forces missions are not made public, which is why the precise location of the soldier's death remains unknown.

“Special forces are there to provide equipment and training for … Iraqi forces and the Kurds” as well as the Kurdish fighters in Syria, he said.

“Sometimes when you are training you are in the combat zone,” he added.

The Élysée's statement went on to say that Macron "salutes the sacrifice" of the soldier, who was killed while pursuing a mission "to defend our country, protect our fellow citizens and win the struggle against barbarism".

The French president also expressed "his confidence and pride in the French soldiers" who courageously battle "terrorist groups from the Levant to the Sahel" in Africa.

Date created : 2017-09-23

  • FRANCE - SYRIA

    In shift to ‘realpolitik’, Macron drops French calls to oust Assad

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Video: Where is France’s military deployed around the world?

    Read more

  • DEFENSE

    EU, French militaries prepare to go it alone after Brexit, US warnings

    Read more

COMMENT(S)