Assault on Idlib risks ‘scattering terrorists’ abroad: Paris

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PARIS, Sept 11, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le
Drian warned Tuesday that a Syrian government offensive on the last rebel
stronghold of Idlib could scatter thousands of foreign jihadists abroad,
posing a security threat to the West.

“There are in all likelihood dozens of French fighters from both Al-Qaeda
and Daesh (Islamic State)” in Idlib, Le Drian told France’s BFMTV, warning
that there were “also many terrorists from other nations who could scatter”
in the event of a joint Syrian-Russian offensive, posing “risks for our
security.

Le Drian said there was “still time to guard against this scenario” and
expressed support for Turkey “in its efforts to keep the population safe,
particularly the civilian population”.

France, the European country worst hit by a wave of jihadist attacks since
2015, has been on high alert for radicals returning home from areas in Iraq
and Syria that have been recaptured from IS.

Le Drian estimated at “between 10,000 and 15,000” the number of jihadists
left in Idlib.

“The attack being prepared by the Syrian regime with Russia’s backing is
extremely dangerous,” he said.

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