PARIS — French soldiers taking part in Operation Sentinelle are the highest profile symbols of the fight against Islamic extremism — but along with other security forces patrolling French streets are increasingly the main targets of attacks.
Operation Sentinelle was created to guard prominent French sites after a string of deadly attacks in 2015. The soldiers’ status as representatives, and defenders, of the state, has put security forces in the line of fire. But experts offer other reasons, too, for why attacks in France have recently focused on heavily armed protectors.
No civilians have been attacked this year — although intelligence services have foiled seven planned attacks, France’s interior minister said recently. More than 230 people, many of them out for a night of fun, were killed in 2015 and 2016.
Islamic radicals may seek extra media visibility presumably afforded…
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