A billion euros of credit is not for nothing if Macronia, which denies the French what is due to them, has decided to grant such a large sum to “reconstruction in Iraq”. Following in the footsteps of her counterpart in Foreign Affairs, the French Minister of the Armed Forces met with the Iraqi President in Baghdad on Friday, February 8. According to some sources of information, Florence Parly is seeking to “persuade Iraq to continue its military cooperation in the fight against terrorism” and to “discuss the fate of French-born daechists in Iraqi prisons”. In other words, France would probably like, following the overseas directives, to have a permanent military base in Iraq, given that it has active forces on the borders with Syria. And then Paris would like the “French members of Daech” that some people give for intelligence agents to be evacuated without a hitch. In Syria, according to Western sources, it is the Americans who are responsible for evacuating them and delivering them to the French authorities.
Three weeks after the visit of the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, travelled to Iraq to negotiate with the Iraqi authorities on the continuation of military cooperation. She was received by Iraqi President Barham Saleh in Baghdad on Friday, February 8. At the origin of this sudden and unmediated displacement? The rise of critics who denounce the US and Western military presence in Iraq. Because, it should be recalled, the US President’s comments last week that he would like to keep his troops in Iraq to “monitor Iran” has caused an outcry that is still shaking the country. Parliamentary factions are now working on a bill in Parliament that sets a timetable for the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. Such a prospect is not without concern for Paris, which continues to cling to the credo of the fight against terrorism as a justification for maintaining the presence of its military forces.
The Presidential Office announced in a statement that Barham Saleh had welcomed the French Minister and her companions to the al-Salam Presidential Palace in the Iraqi capital Baghdad and both sides discussed the latest developments in the region and the world.
Read: France wants a permanent base in Iraq?
“President Saleh insisted on the expansion of joint cooperation between Iraq and Europe (NATO, editor’s note), especially since Iraq plays the role of a communication bridge linking countries in the region to the Old Continent,” the presidential statement said.
In Baghdad, is the Drian taking Damascus’ side?
But the prospect of a withdrawal of French forces from Iraq following the forced expulsion of Americans from the country they have occupied since 2003 does not seem to have been the only reason for Ms. Parly’s Iraqi visit. According to some reports, the French minister also mentioned the fate of the “French elements of the Daech terrorist group”, who are in Iraqi prisons. She was careful not to talk about it in the media, but everyone knows how sensitive this subject is in France, says the Al-Sumaria correspondent, commenting on Ms. Parly’s visit.
Operation Chammal is the name given from 20 September 2014 to the participation of the French armed forces in the US coalition, the wars in Iraq and Syria. According to political analysts, France is mistaken in wanting to follow in the footsteps of the Americans and seek to establish itself in Iraq in view of the anti-occupation resentments that are constantly gaining ground in Iraq.