A photo displaying a French armored vehicle in Eastern Syria on social networks substantiated earlier reports about the French troops’ deployment in the war-hit country.
The photo of a French armored vehicle in Deir Ezzur, which has been released in social networks by the US army, has speculated the French ground forces’ presence in the war-torn country.
The image was released by the US Special Ops Joint Task Force in Iraq and Syria on Wednesday, before being promptly removed – possibly at the request of the French authorities.
The photo shows a French Aravis vehicle. The French Army and the Saudi Army are the only military forces using the vehicle, while the Saudis are not known to be present in Deir Ezzur.
Similar vehicles have been sighted in Syria on numerous occasions in territories controlled by Washington-backed militants, such as Manbij.
The US and French military have not yet reacted to the report.
In the meantime, the London-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR) reported earlier today that the French Army’s artillery units have been operating in a region on the Eastern bank of the Euphrates River.
France is part of the US-led coalition in Syria, and has been actively participating in the aerial campaign in the region. Notably, it was involved in a joint airstrike with the US and the UK in April following an alleged chemical attack on Douma, a then militant-held suburb of Damascus. Paris, however, has never said that it has troops on the ground in Deir Ezzur.
The Syrian sources have been reporting in recent months about arrival of several French military convoys in the US-run bases in the regions that are under control of the Syrian Democratic Forces in Hasaka, Raqqa and the town of Manbij in Northeastern Aleppo.
The Lebanese al-Manar TV Channel reported earlier this month that a French military convoy arrived at a base run by the US-led coalition in the village of al-Sa’eidiyeh East of the town of Manbij.
It further said that a group of French troops were also dispatched to the coalition base in the Cultural Center in central Manbij.
The first group of the French militaries arrived n Manbij in April after Turkish troops threatened to launch military operation against Kurds in Manbij.