Yassin Yassin talks in front of the unfinished house of his nephew Yassin Ismail, a former Lafarge employee kidnapped by militants in 2013, in Ain Issa, in northern Syria, on February 19, 2018. AFP / Delil souleiman
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Syrian mechanic Yassin Ismail appeared to have an ideal job earning good money as a supervisor for French cement giant Lafarge at the company's remote plant in the deserts of his homeland.Three French judges are investigating allegations that the firm funneled some 13 million euros ($16 million) to armed fighters including Daesh (ISIS) militants to keep the factory working.Six former or current top Lafarge executives have been charged with financing a terrorist organization.The two-story building would have looked impressive in the dusty neighborhood on the fringes of the desert some 30 kilometers away from the Lafarge plant at Jalabiya.Lafarge knew only too well about the perils facing its employees.Ismail is not the only employee who former workers say disappeared.Before the war came to Syria, many ex-Lafarge employees agree, the 680 million euros the firm plowed into the factory brought much-needed investment to the region.
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