French-Swiss construction company LafargeHolcim Group has admitted funding militants in Syria.
The company said it had funded the militants in order to ensure the security of its employees at a plant in north-eastern Syria, according to Le Monde newspaper.
“Probably, those in charge of the work [of the plant] chose the best acceptable method for the enterprise and its employees. Nevertheless, investigation has found significant mistakes contradicting the code of conduct at the time,” the company said in a statement as quoted by Le Monde.
According to Le Monde, the company admitted that its business unit in Syria, which had belonged to Lafarge before its merger, “transferred money to third parties to reach agreements with some of the armed groups, one third of whom are outlawed.”
In June 2016, Le Monde said the Lafarge cement factory indirectly financed Daesh (outlawed in Russia) between spring 2013 and September 2014: the board paid taxes to Daesh jihadists, who had captured neighboring towns and roads, to ensure the enterprise’s work during the Syrian war.
The plant stopped its work in Syria on September 19, 2014.
Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in a civil war, with government forces fighting against numerous opposition and terrorist groups, including al-Nusra Front and Daesh, banned in a range of countries, including Russia.