Opération Sentinelle

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Opération Sentinelle
Part of Vigipirate
Planned byMinistry of Armed Forces
ObjectiveDealing with the terrorist threat and protect the sensitive "points" on land
Date12 January 2015 (2015-01-12) – present

Opération Sentinelle is an ongoing French military operation with 10,000 soldiers and 4,700 police and gendarmes deployed[1] since the aftermath of the January 2015 Île-de-France attacks, with the objective of protecting the deemed sensitive "points" of the territory from terrorism. It was reinforced during the November 2015 Paris attacks, and is part of a state of emergency in France due to continued terror threats and attacks,[2][3] until the state of emergency ended on 1 November 2017.[4] On 13 October 2023, France raised its security alert to the highest level, and the day after it deployed 7,000 soldiers following the Arras school stabbing.[5]


Opération Sentinelle was first deployed after the January 2015 Île-de-France attacks, and was reinforced following the November 2015 Paris attacks, attacks which were claimed to have been perpetrated by the Islamic extremist groups Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. A number of other attacks have taken place in France since these attacks.[3]

Other European countries have also deployed soldiers to protect certain areas due to terror threats or attacks, including in Belgium,[6] Italy,[7] and the United Kingdom.[8]

Attacks against soldiers[edit]

On at least six occasions, soldiers involved in the nationwide operation have themselves been targeted.[3]

Soldiers deployed under Opération Sentinelle on 3 February 2017 blocked the assailant in the Louvre machete attack from entering the museum, where he claims to have intended to deface art with spray paint as a symbolic attack on France; he attacked the patrolling soldiers with a machete.[9]

In the March 2017 Île-de-France attacks, two Opération Sentinelle soldiers at Orly Airport killed a man who said "I am here to die for Allah"[10] while he beat to the floor another member of their team, a soldier from whom the attacker intended to steal her assault rifle.

On 9 August 2017 in the Levallois-Perret attack, six soldiers of the 35th Infantry Regiment[11] participating in Opération Sentinelle were intentionally wounded by an automobile whose driver fled.[12] The military were unable to make an armed response in time.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Willsher, Kim (9 August 2017). "French police search home of man suspected of driving into soldiers". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Suspect in hit-and-run on French soldiers unknown to spy agencies: source". Business Insider. Reuters. 10 August 2017. Archived from the original on 7 August 2020. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Patel-Carstairs, Sunita (9 August 2017). "Man held after terror attack on French soldiers". Sky News. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  4. ^ Hartmann, Christian (1 November 2017). "Two years after the Paris attacks, France ends state of emergency". Reuters. Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  5. ^ https://www.france24.com/en/france/20231014-france-to-deploy-7-000-soldiers-after-teacher-s-fatal-stabbing
  6. ^ "Belgium deploys army as Europe remains on high alert". France24. 17 January 2015. Archived from the original on 11 July 2018. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Italy deploys soldiers to guard against terror attacks". Reuters. 18 February 2015. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  8. ^ "What is Operation Temperer: Theresa May becomes first PM to deploy up to 5,000 soldiers on streets". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  9. ^ Rios, Michael (3 February 2017). "2017Louvre Museum attacker in life-threatening condition, French prosecutor says". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Last words of Paris attacker: I am here to die for Allah". CBC.
  11. ^ "Militaires renversés à Levallois: un suspect interpellé". 9 August 2017 – via www.la-croix.com.
  12. ^ "Militaires blessés à Levallois-Perret : le suspect identifié". La Croix. 9 August 2017 – via www.la-croix.com.
  13. ^ "Attaque contre des militaires à Levallois-Perret : Emmanuel Macron félicite les "forces de l'ordre qui ont appréhendé l'auteur de l'attaque"". 9 August 2017.

External links[edit]