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France says it launches first air strikes in Iraq - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A file picture taken on September 15, 2014 shows French military support staff walking towards a Rafale fighter jet during at the  Al-Dhafra base, about 32 kilometres south of Abu Dhabi. (AFP Photo/Taieb Mahjoub)

A file picture taken on September 15, 2014 shows French military support staff walking towards a Rafale fighter jet during at the Al-Dhafra base, about 32 kilometres south of Abu Dhabi. (AFP Photo/Taieb Mahjoub)

Paris, Reuters—France said on Friday its jets had launched strikes inside Iraq for the first time since the country promised to join military action against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) insurgents who have taken over parts of the country.

“This morning at 9:40 am our Rafale jets launched a first strike against a logistics depot of the terrorists,” President Francois Hollande’s office said in a statement issued shortly after the raids.

The target in northeast Iraq was totally destroyed, said the statement, adding that there would be further operations “in the coming days.”

Hollande told a news conference on Thursday that French air strikes were imminent and would take place once reconnaissance flights had identified targets. He said the military action would be limited to Iraq, and no ground troops would be sent.

France has expressed its willingness to be part of the military, political and financial coalition being created by the United States to defeat ISIS militants controlling parts of northern Iraq and Syria.

On Monday, Paris hosted an international conference attended by the five UN Security Council permanent members, European and Arab states, and representatives of the EU, Arab League and United Nations. The meeting was intended to coordinate a global strategy against ISIS.

France began its first reconnaissance flights over Iraq on Monday.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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