85 articles tagged "France"
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Mehdi Nemmouche, suspected Brussels killer
Is Mehdi Nemmouche the Brussels al Qaeda killer – or accomplice who removed the evidence?
DEBKAfile Special Report June 1, 2014

Incriminating evidence links Mehdi Nemmouche, 29, the jihadi arrested Friday, May 30, at Marseille bus station, to the murders of four people, including the Israeli couple Mira and Emmanuel Riva, at the Jewish Museum in Brussels on May 24. The guns in his luggage were of the same types as the murder weapons. He spent a year in Syria fighting for Islamist militias. His record of constant travel also suggests he served as hired bagman for smuggling weapons among terrorist groups and in other roles as terrorist accomplice.

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French President Francois Hollande's first visit to Israel.
Hollande and Netanyahu to consider forming a joint French-Israeli-Arab front against Iran
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis November 16, 2013

French President Francois Hollande and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius arrive in Jerusalem Sunday, Nov. 17. Their talks with Israel’s leaders will show if France stands by its independent stance against Washington’s détente with Tehran and is willing to throw in its lot ad hoc with Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt. Their outcome will determine whether Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu goes to Moscow next Wednesday alone or with French and Saudi backing. The next round of nuclear negotiations in Geneva on Nov. 20 will also be influenced.

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John Kerry in Geneva
Kerry bids from Abu Dhabi to break up unique broad front which tripped up US-Iran nuclear deal
DEBKAfile Special Report November 11, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Dubai Monday, Nov. 11, to try and break up the unique bond of European governments, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Arab states and Israel which stalled the US-Iranian nuclear deal in Geneva. debkafile: Washington shows no sign of toning down its deal with Iran, although US undersecretary Wendy Sherman and EU’s Catherine Ashton are blamed for damaging the process by opening the draft too freely for amendments by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zerif, which even Kerry was not ready to sign.

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Winners and losers in Geneva
France’s last-minute hold-out aborts Iran nuclear deal in Geneva
DEBKAfile Special Report November 10, 2013

France amazed its fellow five powers and Iran by sticking to its guns to the last. They never imagined French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius would actually scupper the Geneva nuclear conference when it came closer than ever before to a joint accord. The intense pressure the US beamed at Jerusalem turns now to Paris. The conference reconvenes on Nov. 20. But meanwhile, President Barack Obama and Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif have suffered a stinging setback after long secret negotiations.

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Barack Obama to NBC: "Modest" sanctions relief
Israel accuses US of deceit on nuclear deal with Iran. Geneva signing drags out as Iran ups its price
DEBKAfile Special Report November 9, 2013

The delay in signing the first interim nuclear accord with Iran in Geneva prompted the remark by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius: “There is an initial draft that we do not accept… I have no certainty that we can finish up.” However, debkafile confirms that the deal cut directly between Washington and Tehran ahead of the Geneva conference will be signed at latest Saturday, Nov. 9, or Sunday -  in the face of French reservations, Israel’s fury and Tehran's opportunist bid to extort more concessions at the last minute.

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IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz
Damascus, Hizballah jack up threats on Israel in absence of Obama-Netanyahu coordination on Syria
DEBKAfile Special Report September 2, 2013

Senior IDF circles are concerned by the unrealistic mood of the country on New Year’s eve as though Israel and the US were fully coordinated on Syria and Hizballah and the danger of Syria repeating its chemical attack – this time on Israel – had receded. In fact, since US President Barack Obama aborted the US strike on Syria, Damascus and Hizballah have stepped up their threats to attack Israel in the coming weeks, prompting a warning from Netanyahu that “Anyone wishing to do us harm should know what awaits him.”

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Israeli military field hospital springs up on Golan
West embargoes arms to Syrian rebels over their resale to al Qaeda
DEBKAfile Special Report March 30, 2013

The West has initiated an arms embargo against the Syrian rebels fighting Bashar Assad since discovering that some of the weapons are being resold to al Qaeda for its conquest of southern Syrian and takeover of positions on the Jordanian and Israel borders and Yarmuk River. This policy reversal was disclosed by French President Francois Hollande Friday, March 29. debkafile: Alarm over the Nusra Front’s territorial gains now tops concerns over chemical warfare in the deliberations of the joint US-Israeli, US-Jordanian and US-Turkish command centers. 

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Hollande, Obama, Cameron - no longer a threesome on Syria
France, Britain flout US objections on arms to Syrian rebels
DEBKAfile Special Report March 16, 2013

Britain and France have for the first time parted ways with the US on its policy against sending Western arms to Syrian rebels fighting Bashar Assad. As the EU summit in Brussels voted March 14 against their motion to lift the Syrian arms embargo, debkafile reveals that Jordan’s top soldier arrived in Brussels to discuss shipping British arms through his country – and select the rebel recipients. France’s Francois Hollande used this issue to even the score for Barack Obama’s lack of military support for his Mali expedition. 

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Francois Hollande
The Islamists Are Back in Northern Mali’s Big Towns
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 8, 2013

France’s motives for its intervention in Mali are variously interpreted as a genuine wish to liberate northern Mali from Islamist terrorists and forming a base of attack against Europe, or as defense of French economic interests in Mali’s rich natural resources.

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Al Qaeda in Mali armed with Grad missiles from Libya
American isolationism: Obama’s unfolding signature policy
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis January 19, 2013

Barack Obama’s disinclination to intervene in the Mali and Algerian gas field crises is a mark of his evolving isolationist policy for the United States. debkafile:  Even though the US homeland may not be in immediate peril from the two episodes, Al Qaeda’s interconnecting tentacles cannot be ignored:  Seven years ago on July 7, jihadist suiciders blew up London trains and a bus with explosives provided by the very Al Qaeda cells of Sahel Desert which today occupy Mali and this week struck the Algerian gas field.

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France in Mali fights the unfinished Libyan War
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 18, 2013

Neither France nor the US has learned from the Afghanistan War that aerial warfare won’t defeat al Qaeda – certainly not when they are highly-trained in special forces tactics and backed by mobile, well-armed local militias with advanced anti-aircraft weapons. Those militias are Touareg tribesmen, trained and armed by the US as a spearhead against al Qaeda in Africa, who instead defected to the enemy.

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Mokhtar Belmokhtar
US, France Caught Unready by Expanding Mali Conflict – First in Algeria
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 18, 2013

The Algerian hostage disaster was the outcome of French anti-terror intervention in Mali which in turn developed from the messy ending of the Libyan war. By carrying out two counter terror operations – in Somali and Mali – on one day, France and the US brought together the most dangerous al Qaeda franchise for a common war front.

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French Special Forces in Mali war
France terror alert after Mali, Somali operations. Al Qaeda threatens hostages
DEBKAfile Special Report January 12, 2013

French President Francois Hollande placed the country on high domestic terror alert Saturday, Jan. 12, in case of retaliatory attacks by al Qaeda for French operations against two of its African wings: a failed mission to rescue a French hostage from the Somali Shabaab, and air and commando aid for the Mali army’s drive to stop advancing Islamists.  The Islamists threatened to execute at least eight French hostages, one by one, unless French forces pulled out of Somalia and Mali at once.

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Joint British-French Albanian Lion Exercise
Paris: NATO-Arab Syria intervention imminent
DEBKAfile Special Report December 7, 2012

Sources close to the French Defense Ministry reported Friday, Dec. 7, that a Western-Arab military intervention against the Assad regime will begin shortly with the participation of the US, France, Britain, Turkey, Jordan and other anti-Assad Arab nations, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar. debkafile: French and British warships have joined the USS Eisenhower carrier off Syria. The mission would combine an air blitz and special operations forces on the ground for wiping out Assad’s chemical arms stocks, air force and air defense batteries.

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Binyamin Netanyahu and Francois Hollande
If Willing, France and Israel Could Jointly Scotch Iran’s Nuclear Program
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 1, 2012

If France and Israel were to combine their air and sea assets, they could clobber Iran’s nuclear program without any other partners. However, neither is yet about to move in this direction without the United States, although their intelligence ties are in closer rapport than they are with US intelligence agencies.

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The First Week of October Is Now Tagged as Decision-Time for Attacking Iran
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 12, 2012

The first week of October is the latest agreed timeline for a US-Israeli decision to strike Iran because after that it will be too late. Iran’s nuclear breakout is now counted in weeks, nuclear diplomacy has fallen through and President Obama is closer than ever before to a decision. DEBKA-Net-Weekly's military sources add that France has also begun transferring special forces to its UAE bases and Britain is completing preparations for deploying large ground, naval and air forces to Kuwait.
 

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Mahmoud Jibril
Jibril’s Power-Sharing Deal with the Brotherhood Aided by US & France
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 12, 2012

Mahmoud Jibril won the Libyan election by dint of a power-sharing deal with the Muslim Brotherhood and the support of French and US intelligence. That deal is not expected to last long.

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Tiny SeaFox submersibles for destroying mines
Two more US carriers, dozens of mini-subs rushed to Hormuz
DEBKAfile Special Report July 12, 2012

As Russia and NATO boosted their military strength in the E. Mediterranean, debkafile reports the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier and dozens of unmanned underwater craft for destroying mines are being rushed to the Persian Gulf. By August, five aircraft carriers will be on site - four American and one French. "If Iran starts spreading underwater mines in international waterways, i.e., the Strait of Hormuz, it will find American forces ready to dismantle them," said a Western military source.

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French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle
NATO, Russian naval-air buildup in E. Mediterranean, French units to Gulf
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 11, 2012

At least 11 Russian warships are heading for Syria from their Black Sea and North Sea bases; NATO’s rapid response Maritime Group 2 is on its way to the E. Mediterranean too, and five Israeli warships are already deployed. The French nuclear aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle-R91 is making for the French naval base at Port Zayid, Abu Dhabi, opposite the Strait of Hormuz. In Riyadh, high Saudi officials are convinced a US strike against Iran is coming soon - before or after the November election.

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Bashar Assad's fortified palace atop Mt. Qassioun
Obama nixes French-Saudi plan to finish Assad by bombing his palace
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 30, 2012

US President Obama recently vetoed a detailed Franco-Saudi plan for ending President Bashar Assad’s rule by means of a massive air strike against his palace that would wipe him, his family and top leadership circle out, debkafile reports. French warplanes from the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier off Syria and Saudi and United Arab Emirates bombers flying in through Jordan would devastate the palace atop Mount Qassioun northeast of Damascus. The US was asked to pitch in by disrupting Syrian air defenses.

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