France hits ISIS ‘capital’ in Syria
French warplanes on Sunday evening pounded the city of Raqa, the Islamic State (ISIS) group’s self-proclaimed “capital” in Syria, destroying a command post and a training camp, the defense ministry said.
In its first air strike against ISIS since the string of deadly Paris attacks claimed by the jihadist group, 12 warplanes, including 10 fighter bombers, dropped 20 bombs on the targets.
“The first target destroyed was used by Daesh as a command post, jihadist recruitment centre and arms and munitions depot. The second held a terrorist training camp,” a ministry statement quoted by AFP said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.
The planes left from Jordan and the United Arab Emirates and was conducted in coordination with American forces, the ministry said.
French President Francois Hollande on Saturday blamed the Islamic State group for the gun and suicide attacks that left at least 129 dead in Paris on Friday, calling them an “act of war“.
And later, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that his country needed to scale up military operations in Syria in order to “annihilate” ISIS.
“Our action in Syria … needs to be extended to annihilate Daesh,” Valls told TF1 television, adding, “The enemy is ISIS.”