Confidential documents show that France knowingly helps Egypt bomb civilians on the Egyptian-Libyan border, by providing Cairo with its services, particularly in terms of surveillance.
The facts date back to Saturday, February 13, 2016. We are nearly 600 kilometers from the Egyptian capital, Cairo. the Disclose media describes Operation Sirli in detail: Egyptian soldiers welcomed the French at that time. These, reports the media, disembark with tourist visas. In reality, they are personnel sent by Paris for a “clandestine military operation of France”. To back up its remarks, Disclose relies on documents classified as “confidential-defense”.
What was Sirli? It was a little more than six months before the start of operations that Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Defense at the time, offered services from France to Egypt. During his trip, he is accompanied by Christophe Gomart, director of military intelligence. Paris was then on good terms with Cairo: arms contracts were signed between the two countries, Egypt having bought more than 5,5 billion euros of equipment - Rafale fighter jets and warships.
At the time, in addition to the terrorist threat, Egypt was seeking to overcome traffickers on the Egyptian-Libyan border. But by appealing to Paris, Cairo had played on a sensitive chord: the Egyptian authorities then told the French delegation that they simply wanted to secure 1 kilometers along the border with Libya. To do this, Egypt requested assistance in terms of aerial surveillance. The mission began with immediate effect. Problem: no roadmap indicated the objectives and contours of the operation.
Hollande and Macron in the know?
Then begins Operation Sirli. Four soldiers and six former army employees employed by a private company, according to Disclose, are embarking on a surveillance of the terrorist threat. Telephone tapping, observation ... The French help an Egyptian officer to see more clearly. Except that the reports transmitted to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs show that the operation is in fact not directed against terrorists, but against traffickers transiting between Libya and Egypt. Other reports indicate that the area studied is in fact devoid of terrorists.
Throughout the mission, François Hollande, then Emmanuel Macron, asked for the continuation of operations. To his Egyptian counterpart, the French president said that he was "fully informed of the operations in progress" in Egypt. The Directorate of Military Intelligence (DRM) continues to inform the Egyptian army. And regularly, Egyptian planes bomb civilians suspected of smuggling.
The French air force and the DRM may well question the Egyptian motivations, in Paris, they are asked to continue to help the Egyptian partner. Worse, the French army would still be present there and would continue to give information to target suspected traffickers. A year after the decoration of the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor by Emmanuel Macron of Marshal Sissi, France continues to help its economic ally. Against contracts worth several billion, Paris turns a blind eye to the bombing of civilians.