Monday, December 11, 2006

France Flies UAV's Over Lebanon to Stop Israeli Overflights

The French contingent of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), is in a snit about Israeli intelligence-gathering overflights of Lebanon and have deployed an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in an effort to stop the Israeli flights:
France, a member of UNIFIL, has expressed adamant opposition to IAF overflights in Lebanon. Last month, OC Planning Division Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan traveled to Paris for meetings with senior military officials during which he tried to explain Israel's operational needs. The flights, the IDF claims, are necessary for gathering intelligence and keeping an eye on the Lebanese-Syrian border through which weapons are smuggled to the Hizbullah.
The French nearly fired on an Israeli plane in October, and their soldiers have been given permission to fire on Israeli planes if they feel threatened.

Since the average Frenchman is liable to feel threatened by a particularly vicious-looking chihuahua, expect Lebanon to become a free-fire zone any time the Star of David is spotted in the skies.

The French eagerness to deploy their very own UAV is not strictly in the interests of peace:
According to Israeli defense sources, the French initiative is also meant to prove the operational capabilities of its UAVs so they can compete against Israeli defense industries on the global UAV market.
Now that the Iraqi oil market under Saddam has...dried up...the French seek new sources of income. I understand the UAV is called, "Putain Française."