Sunday, November 28

Cirley’s mission .. Egypt uses French aid to bomb civilians and Paris is complicit

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Liberation newspaper said. French (Liberation) The French intelligence is complicit in at least 19 attacks against Egyptian civilians, by providing intelligence information used by the Egyptian authorities – with knowledge of Paris – to target smugglers on the Egyptian-Libyan border, and not to target terrorists, as was expected.

The newspaper pointed out that this information, which was widely spread today, came within An investigation by Disclose. (Disclose), the electronic website that specializes in revealing scandals of the French armies, after seeing “secret defense documents” that he said testify to the violations of the French intelligence mission called “Sirly”, which began in February 2016 in the interest of Egypt in the name of combating terrorism.

“Operation Sirli” was launched in early 2016, as a secret French team was sent to the Western Desert extending from the Nile to the Egyptian-Libyan border, with the aim of securing those borders amid a state of chaos, after Egypt expressed an “urgent need” for an air intelligence operation, France pledged to fulfill it as part of an unofficial mission led by the Military Intelligence Department, as part of what was described as a “global maneuver against terrorism.”

According to Disclose’s documents, Cirley’s mission was to “survey the Western Sahara to detect any terrorist threats from Libya”, using a light reconnaissance plane “rented from the Military Intelligence Directorate”, while assessing the reality of the threat and the identity of the suspects, but the intelligence team soon realized that the intelligence The provided to the Egyptians was used to kill civilians suspected of smuggling, in what appeared to be an infringement of the mission’s objectives.

Cirley’s team warned his superiors about these abuses more than once, but “to no avail, despite the many serious mistakes in this field.” Indeed, “French forces participated in at least 19 attacks on civilians between 2016 and 2018,” according to Documents reviewed by Disclose.

Continuing despite warnings

At the end of November 2017, a memorandum sent to the French presidency showed that the Air Force was concerned about the excesses of the operation, but explained that the only available means of assessment is the initial flights that they are carrying out, noting that “the identification of some vehicles and the resulting interceptions must be done.” be done with caution.”

Another memorandum dated January 22, 2019 – to the attention of the Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, before an official visit to Egypt with President Emmanuel Macron – stated that there were “confirmed cases of destruction of targets discovered by French aircraft”, and that “it is important to remind the partner that surveillance aircraft are not A targeting tool.” However, the mission’s mission has not been reserved and the agreements on it have not been reviewed, and “the French army is still deployed in the Egyptian desert.”

Indeed, Disclose visited the Marsa Matrouh area in the Western Desert of Egypt, where many consider smuggling as the only smuggler from the harsh work in olive and date fields, in which he earns no more than 6 euros a day, while a former smuggler who now works in tourism says that ” The driver of a pick-up truck loaded with cigarettes earns 3,800 euros for a single trip between Libya and Egypt,” which is almost 40 times the average monthly salary in Egypt.

This is enough – according to the previous smuggler – to attract candidates despite the deadly risks, as the Egyptian presidency announced – albeit exaggeratedly – in July 2020 the destruction of “10,000 cars filled with terrorists and smugglers” within 7 years, which means “40 thousand people were killed.” .

Exaggerated terrorism

For his part, Jalil Harchaoui, a researcher at the Swiss NGO (Global Initiative to Combat Transnational Organized Crime), believes that the terrorist threat from Libya is “largely overestimated by the Egyptian army, which aims to gain support on the international stage,” especially as it No terrorist group or claiming to be Islamist has been established in the eastern part of Libya since 2017, and a report by the European Institute of Peace published in May 2020 concluded that “there is hardly any evidence to suggest that the Islamic State or other groups are using drug smuggling to finance its operations in Libya.

In the context of Operation Sirli, the website enumerated a series of operations with documented testimonies, including the killing of Ahmed El-Feki and two of his colleagues working on paving a road near Bahariya Oasis, where an Egyptian plane hit their pickup truck, killing Ahmed and his two companions.

Despite Paris’ declared desire to refocus its arms exports in Europe, Egypt is one of the main buyers of French military equipment, especially after President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi came to power in 2014. Between 2014 and 2016, he bought Rafale planes, a frigate, 4 cruisers and two helicopter carriers, she says. newspaper.

And in December 2020, Emmanuel Macron received President Sisi and presented him with the Legion of Honor Grand Medal, the highest honorary French honor.

According to the French Press Agency, a memorandum was sent at the beginning of 2019 to the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, prior to the visit of President Emmanuel Macron to Egypt, Hours after the publication of this report, a statement was issued by the French Army, saying that Barley had requested an investigation into the matter.

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Reference-www.aljazeera.net

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