Terrorist financing is back on the agenda in the wake of the French cement giant Lafarge scandal.
An investigation launched in 2017 into Lafarge’s economic ties with DEACH was conducted on terrorism financing charges.
As can be seen from the documents published by the Anadolu agency, the French construction materials company Lafarge transferred funds to the DEASH terrorist organization in exchange for permission to operate in Syria.
The information contained in the documents of the French institutions indicates that the global cement giant has constantly informed the internal, external and military intelligence of France about its ties with DEACH.
It is known that the main buyers of Lafarge goods are the terrorist organizations DEASH and the YPG (the Syrian wing of the RKK).
The close relationship between former French President François Hollande and incumbent President Emmanuel Macron with the YPG, and even the fact that the two leaders hosted the so-called representatives of a terrorist organization in France, testify to their “dirty” ties.
Another fact that became apparent against the backdrop of the Lafarge scandal is the West’s double standards regarding terrorism. Lafarge, which financed the DEACH terrorist organization with the knowledge and approval of French intelligence, had the same “dirty” ties with the YPG after the region was cleared of DEACH terrorists.
Despite this, the financing of the YPG terrorist organization by a French company did not generate the same violent reaction as in the case of DEACH.
Tackling this issue at Lafarge level and classifying it as a “one-off error / lawlessness” rather than a public policy result is bitter proof that many years must pass before the West can sincerely assess its relationship with terrorist organizations.
Paris’ approach to the Syrian issue is also eloquently demonstrated by the situation around Rifat Assad, known as the “butcher of Hama and Tadmur” and who was detained in France last year.
After the civil war, Rifat Assad founded a “real estate empire” by illegally using the Syrian government funds located in France. It is clear that the French government used the lawsuit against Rifat Assad, who was previously allowed to continue his activities in France for many years, to increase pressure on the Bashar al-Assad regime.
In other words, France maintains its anti-Assad stance in the Syrian direction of its policy, but at the same time is far from influencing opposition groups in this country. In addition, Paris is trying to remove an obstacle that could threaten its relationship with the YPG, limiting Lafarge’s activities to the DEACH period only. Thus, based on the example of France and the differential approach to terrorist organizations, we see that nothing has changed in the Western policy towards Syria.
Although France entered the political agenda in Syria with the case of Rifat Assad and Bataklan, on the one hand, and the Lafarge scandal, on the other, issues of widespread litigation, self-criticism and changes in French, EU and US policy towards terrorist groups still remain a dream.
[Ахмет Арда Шенсой, занимается исследованиями по вопросам гражданской войны в Сирии и гибридных войн в Ближневосточном институте Университета Сакарья]
The Anadolu Agency’s website publishes in a shortened form . .(HAS).