Lafarge is a French company created in 1833 and considered as a global leader in construction material and as one of the major actors in cement, aggregates and concrete production. The company is present and active in 61 countries, including Syria. It merged with the Swiss Group Holcim in July 2015. The company declares a sales annual revenue of 8,6 billion euros in the sector of cement production. The Middle East is an important market for the company, with almost 5’500 employees in the region.
Lafarge Cement Syria is a subsidiary, almost 99%-owned by the French Group Holcim.
According to the 2016 complaint filed by Sherpa (a French law association whose primary mission is to defend and protect victims of financial crimes), the ECCHR (European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights), and eleven former Lafarge Syrian employees, the crimes allegedly connected with Lafarge’s subsidiary cement factory in Jalabiya, in northern Syria, were committed between 2013 and 2014. At this time, several armed groups operated in the region, including the Islamic State (ISIS or Daesh). Lafarge allegedly entered into negotiations with ISIS to purchase oil and pozzolan from them, as well as to obtain official ISIS permit for crossing checkpoints in order to maintain its production in the area.