French soldiers killed in Libya

This 20 July 2016 video is called Three French soldiers die in Libya helicopter crash.

From Al Jazeera today:

France confirms three soldiers killed in Libya

French President Francois Hollande confirms three officers killed while on an intelligence mission in Libya.

Three French soldiers have been killed in Libya, officials have said, also confirming for the first time that members of France’s special forces are engaged in operations in the North African country.

French President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday the three soldiers had been killed in a helicopter crash during an intelligence-gathering operation.

“At this moment we are carrying out dangerous intelligence operations [in Libya],” Hollande said in a speech.

France’s Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement that he regretted “the loss of three French officers who died while on mission in Libya” – but gave no further information as to where or how the troops were killed.

Earlier on Wednesday, government spokesman Stephane Le Foll provided the first official confirmation that members of the French special forces were operating in Libya, which has been in turmoil since 2011 following the uprising that led to the removal and killing of Muammar Gaddafi.

“Special forces are there, of course, to help and to make sure France is present everywhere in the struggle against terrorists,” Le Foll said.

French special forces, in conjunction with Britain and the US, have been advising forces loyal to eastern Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar, which have been battling opponents in Benghazi for more than two years, the Reuters news agency reported.

Libyan military officials would not comment on a report that the French nationals were in a helicopter that crashed near Benghazi on Sunday. Officials said at the time that four people had died in the crash, all of them Libyan.

A group called the Benghazi Defence Brigades claimed to have shot down the aircraft.

France and Britain led the push in 2011 for the NATO-led air campaign that helped topple Gaddafi’s regime. Both countries were later accused of not doing enough to support Libya after [this] military intervention.

Libya has been split between rival governments and parliaments based in the western and eastern regions, each backed by different militias and tribes.

Libya: Leaked tapes suggest West supports Haftar. Air traffic recordings indicate General Haftar receives Western support despite his opposition to [United Nations-backed unity] Tripoli government: here.

From the BBC today:

The oil-rich country once had one of the highest standards of living in Africa with free healthcare and free education, but five years on from the uprising it is facing a financial crisis.

Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian reported the deaths of three agents of the General Directorate of Exterior Security’s (DGSE) Action Service, which is carrying out black ops on Libyan soil. The incident underscores the illegal character of the French government’s ongoing military operations in Libya, which are being carried out behind the backs of the French people: here.

After Democrats’ celebration of militarism, US warplanes bomb Libya: here.

US airstrikes on the Libyan coast city of Sirte, which began on Monday, continued yesterday as part of what American officials have made clear will be an ongoing military campaign. While nominally directed against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militias, the fresh eruption of American militarism is more broadly aimed at ensuring US dominance in the region: here.

American ground troops were involved in fighting in Libya this week, in operations that include supporting local militias and coordinating air attacks from a secret base just outside of Sirte, a coastal city that was reduced to rubble by the 2011 US-NATO bombing campaign: here.

7 thoughts on “French soldiers killed in Libya

  1. Thursday 21st July 2016

    posted by James Tweedie in World

    Militants contradict Hollande, saying they shot down helicopter

    THREE French troops have been killed in eastern Libya in what President Francois Hollande claimed yesterday was a helicopter accident.

    But local militant group the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) said they shot down the aircraft, killing four people — two Libyans and two foreigners.

    Mr Hollande said the three soldiers were involved in a shadowy intelligence-gathering mission when their helicopter went down near al-Magrun, south of Benghazi, on Sunday.

    “At this moment we are carrying out dangerous intelligence operations,” Mr Hollande said in a speech. “Three of our soldiers, who were involved in these operations, have been killed in a helicopter accident.”

    Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had earlier confirmed the deaths of three officers “while on mission in Libya.”

    France had previously said its warplanes were carrying out reconnaissance flights over the north African country.

    But Paris has never confirmed reports that it has special forces on the ground in Libya, as claimed by the Le Monde daily and hinted at previously by UN envoy to Libya Martin Kobler.

    Only last month, Mr Le Drian told parliament that France had been gathering intelligence in Libya “for some time.”
    He ruled out the deployment of ground forces, saying at the time: “Our presence on the ground is not the right solution.”

    But French, British and US special forces are reported to have been “advising” the Benghazi government’s military forces, which have driven the BRB and other rebels out of the eastern city, for two years.

    The BRB launched a new counterattack last month.

    Libya has collapsed into anarchy since rebel forces backed by Nato air strikes overthrew the government and murdered veteran dictator Muammar Gadaffi.

    The country is divided between two rival governments, in the capital Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi — the seat of the rebellion — with several other armed factions also controlling territory.

    Western powers backed the Benghazi regime until earlier this year, when they installed the UN-founded, seven-member Government of National Accord in Tripoli.


  2. Tuesday 23rd August 2016

    posted by Morning Star in World

    LIBYA: The Tobruk-based house of representatives overwhelmingly passed a vote of no confidence in the UN-installed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli yesterday.

    The parliament that rules the east of the country voted by 61 to one, with 39 abstentions, to reject the authority of PM Fayez al-Sarraj’s GNA, which relies on the eastern General National Congress for muscle.


  3. Pingback: Italian neo-colonial war in Libya, after Mussolini and Berlusconi | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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