French troops almost fired at Israel jets-minister

By | November 9, 2006

French troops almost fired at Israel jets-minister

French peacekeeping troops in Lebanon recently came within two seconds of firing missiles at Israeli fighter jets that approached as if to attack them, French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said. Speaking to the lower house of parliament on Wednesday night, she said this was the latest in a string of incidents in which Israeli warplanes had “adopted a hostile attitude” to French and German forces and said it was “not tolerable”. “A catastrophe was narrowly avoided by our troops,” Alliot-Marie said, according to a transcript of her comments. She did not say exactly when or where the events took place. Israeli F-15s descended rapidly and then rose quickly as if they were dropping bombs or firing at the French ground forces, which are part of U.N. peacekeeping force UNIFIL, she said. “In legitimate defence, our soldiers removed the covers from the missile battery and were two seconds away from firing at the planes that were threatening them,” she said. – reuters

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