French special forces on ground in Syria

France has deployed its special forces on the ground in northern Syria to advise rebels and help them fight ISIS, a French Defense Ministry official has revealed to AFP.

“The offensive at Manbij is clearly being backed by a certain number of states including France. It’s the usual support – it’s advisory,” the official told the agency.

Until now, France admitted the presence of some 150 special forces in the region, all of them in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Manbij is a key strategic town under ISIS control in northern Syria. It’s a waypoint between the Turkish border and the ISIS-held Raqqa.

The latest remark isn’t the first hint at the French presence in Syria: last Friday, Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said to TV channel Public Senat that Paris was “providing support through weapons supplies, air presence and advice”.