France mainly provides intelligence support to Israel: Defense minister

France mainly provides intelligence support to Israel: Defense minister

'We unfortunately have a long experience in the fight against terrorism,' says Sebastien Lecornu

By Anadolu Staff

ANKARA (AA) – France mainly provides intelligence support to Israel, Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu told the local daily Le Progres on Monday.

"The intelligence sharing is part of the routine partnership between our two countries," Lecornu said in an interview.

“We unfortunately have a long experience in the fight against terrorism and our intelligence services have particularly effective means and sensors,” he added.

Israeli forces launched a sustained military push against the Gaza Strip last week, replying to a military offensive by the Palestinian group Hamas in its territories.

Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel, a multi-pronged surprise attack including a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel via land, sea and air.

It said the operation was in retaliation for the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli settlers’ growing violence against Palestinians.

The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip.

-Situation in Mali

"Mali risks being partitioned in the coming months," Lecornu said, explaining that terrorist attacks were more than multiplying in the African country.

He noted that the Malian military had suffered too many losses as well as civilian casualties.

"Terrorist groups benefit from the Malian junta's weakness and (the Russian paramilitary group) Wagner's defeat," Lecornu said. "The situation in the Sahel is extremely preoccupying."

France withdrew its troops from Mali last year over hostile relations and ended Operation Barkhane.

France had deployed an estimated 4,600 soldiers under Operation Barkhane, which was launched in 2014 to fight terrorism in the G5 Sahel countries of Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mauritania.

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