Thirteen French officers have been captured by the Syrian Army, according to Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper. It claims it received the information from a pro-Syrian Palestinian in Damascus.
According to the source, the officers were taken captive in the city of Homs – the heart of the internal conflict between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, and insurrectionists – and are being held in a field hospital there. The source claims the French and Syrian governments are locked in negotiations over the fate of the men.
If confirmed, it would be an embarrassment to France. However the French Foreign Ministry has categorically stated that there are no French soldiers in Syria. Perhaps more intriguingly, the Ministry of Defense has not issued an outright denial, saying instead that it has no knowledge of the situation.
Official Damascus has similarly refused to comment.