French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned on Friday that anyone who attacks a single French soldier participating in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) will have to suffer the consequences of their action.
Sarkozy issued the warning before an audience of senior diplomats in Paris on Friday .
He said his country will maintain its support for Lebanon, stressing that French troops have been participating in UNIFIL for about 30 years.
He added that France will continue to defend Lebanon’s sovereignty and independence.
Last December a roadside bomb in the southern city of Sidon resulted in the wounding of seven people including five French UNIFIL soldiers
Seven people, including five French soldiers, were wounded in the attack.
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe accused Hezbollah and Syria of involvement in the attack, but both ( Hezbollah and Syria) denied any involvement
UNIFIL patrols have been the target of attacks in recent years, including two in 2011.
On July 26, 2011 Six French soldiers serving with (UNIFIL were wounded in a blast targeting two vehicles belonging to the French Battalion in the city of Sidon.
On May 27, a similar blast took place also on Sidon highway, which links Beirut with southern Lebanon, wounding six Italian peacekeepers
Three Spanish and three Colombian peacekeepers were killed in June 2007 when a booby-trapped car exploded as their patrol vehicle drove by.
Sarkozy also warned Friday that any foreign military intervention against Iran’s nuclear program would trigger “war and chaos” across the Middle East and beyond.
“France will do everything to avoid a military intervention,” Sarkozy said, calling instead for a “much stronger” sanctions to be imposed on Tehran.
“A military intervention would not solve the problem but would unleash war and chaos in the Middle East and perhaps the world,” he warned.
Israel has reportedly been preparing for air strikes against the Iranian nuclear facilities.
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