01:19 GMT +323 October 2019
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    Lafarge plant is pictured in Paris. Cement group LafargeHolcim admitted on Thursday March 2, 2017 that unacceptable deals with armed groups in northern Syria allowed its activities there to continue

    French-Swiss Company Admits Funding Militants in Syria

    © REUTERS / Thibault Camus
    Middle East
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    French-Swiss construction company LafargeHolcim Group has admitted funding militants in Syria.

    The company said it had funded the militants in order to ensure the security of its employees at a plant in north-eastern Syria, according to Le Monde newspaper.

    "It appears from the [internal] investigation that the local company provided funds to third parties to work out arrangements with a number of these armed groups, including sanctioned parties, in order to maintain operations and ensure safe passage of employees and supplies to and from the plant. The investigation could not establish with certainty the ultimate recipients of funds beyond those third parties engaged," the company said in a press release.

    According to the document, the branch management seemed to have acted the way they did hoping to protect the company and its employees, although "in hindsight, the measures required to continue operations at the plant were unacceptable."

    In June 2016, Le Monde said the Lafarge cement factory indirectly financed Daesh (outlawed in Russia) between spring 2013 and September 2014: the board paid taxes to Daesh jihadists, who had captured neighboring towns and roads, to ensure the enterprise's work during the Syrian war.

    The plant stopped its work in Syria on September 19, 2014.

    Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in a civil war, with government forces fighting against numerous opposition and terrorist groups, including al-Nusra Front and Daesh, banned in a range of countries, including Russia.


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    The Syrian war, LafargeHolcim Group, Lafarge, Daesh, Syria, France, Switzerland
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