French former President Hollande: I had terrorists eliminated in Syria

France has carried out secret military actions in Syria to kill (potential) terrorists. Former President François Hollande said that in French court. “We had to protect ourselves. So it‘s been ordered to disable some.”

It was targeted individual actions. In September 2015, France also started air bombing in Syria, according to Hollande. “From the beginning of 2015, we knew that IS wanted to fight our war. They did that and we answered that.” According to the former president, those actions were aimed at terrorists: “We wanted to bomb places where attacks were being prepared, where people were trained.”

“Targeted Executions”

It is the first time the former president has publicly talked about disabling IS supporters in Syria. In 2016, a book was published by two investigative journalists who interviewed Hollande. In those talks, he would have told that he had “four targeted executions” of alleged terrorists carried out in Syria.

Hollande has now openly confirmed that in court for the first time. He was heard there during the trial of the attacks of November 13, 2015, and Hollande was president at the time.

He told the judge about the night of the attacks. He was in the football stadium where the first attack was committed.


Hollande explained that his intelligence services had several IS supporters, including in Syria, in their sights. But the attacks on the Bataclan, among others, could not be prevented, he thinks. “We didn’t know what the targets were or when they wanted to strike. If we had known that there would be an attack in a concert hall that night, we would have banned all concerts that evenings.”

And, he said, “Of course, it‘s a failure if there’s an attack. But we also managed to prevent attacks.” The trial of the attacks began in September. It takes a total of nine months.