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France says special forces troops operating in Syria Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

France says special forces troops operating in Syria

France is estimated to have dozens of special forces troops in Syria [AFP illustrative image]

Date of publication: 27 May, 2017

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French defence minister ruled out sending ground troops to IS-stronghold of Raqqa after revealing presence of special forces in Syria.

France said on Friday that it already has special forces deployed in Syria, as it ruled out sending conventional ground troops to the Islamic State group's de-facto Syrian 'capital' Raqqa.

Defence Minister Sylvie Goulard told Europe 1 Radio that France is fulfilling all that is required by the the US-led anti-IS coalition. In particular, Goulard said France has provided fighter jets, military advisers and French artillery troops.

This follows a recent statement by Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who stressed that Syria's conflict would not be resolved with a military solution.

France has given few details about the number of its special forces troops operating in Syria, who are estimated to be in the dozens.

This deployment is dwarfed by that of the US, which currently has 900 military advisers, special forces and marines deployed in areas held by the Syrian Democratic Forces - an Arab-Kurdish rebel coalition.

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