Assault on Idlib risks ‘scattering terrorists’ abroad: Paris

French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian delivers a speech at the annual French ambassadors' conference in Paris, France, August 29, 2018. (Reuters/File)
Updated 11 September 2018

Assault on Idlib risks ‘scattering terrorists’ abroad: Paris

  • 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 terrorists

PARIS: 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 terrorists abroad, posing a security threat to the West.
“There are in all likelihood dozens of French fighters from both Al-Qaeda and Daesh” 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 attacks since 2015, has been on high alert for radicals returning home from areas in Iraq and Syria that have been recaptured from Daesh.
Le Drian estimated at “between 10,000 and 15,000” the number of terrorists left in Idlib.
“The attack being prepared by the Syrian regime with Russia’s backing is extremely dangerous,” he said.


Netanyahu aide found to have coronavirus, unclear if Israeli PM affected

Updated 17 min 45 sec ago

Netanyahu aide found to have coronavirus, unclear if Israeli PM affected

  • The Health Ministry generally requires 14-day self-isolation and possible coronavirus testing for anyone deemed to have been in proximity with an infected person
  • Israel has reported 4,247 cases and 15 fatalities

JERUSALEM: An aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tested positive for coronavirus, officials said on Monday, but it was not immediately clear if the 70-year-old leader had been exposed or his work affected.
“We will take action in accordance with Health Ministry directives,” an official said, announcing the diagnosis of the parliamentary aide, whom Israeli media described as being in good condition.
The Health Ministry generally requires 14-day self-isolation and possible coronavirus testing for anyone deemed to have been in proximity with an infected person.
Israeli media said the aide had been present at a parliament session last week attended by Netanyahu as well as opposition lawmakers with whom he is trying to build an emergency coalition government to help address the coronavirus crisis.
Israel has reported 4,247 cases and 15 fatalities. With the Health Ministry warning that the dead could eventually number in the thousands, Netanyahu was due on Monday to convene officials on Monday to discuss a proposed lockdown of some of the country.
Netanyahu was tested for coronavirus as a precaution on March 15, his office said. The result was negative.