According to a spokesman for the army, French warplanes have tripled their rate of airstrikes to support Iraqi forces since the start of the offensive to liberate Mosul from ISIS.
During the French Ministry of Defence’s weekly press conference, the spokesman, Colonel Patrik Steiger, said that “French fighter jets that fly from bases in Jordan and the UAE and the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle have launched 75 strikes in both Iraq and Syria between the 17th of October – when the operation to take back Iraq’s second-largest city began – and the 1st of November. Of these, 63 airstrikes targeted Mosul.”
The spokesman also said that the strikes had decreased in the last few days as the ground offensive had “slowed” after an “initial phase of rapid progression made by Iraqi forces.”
During the period between the 26th of October and the 1st of November, 17 airstrikes were carried out. Thirteen of these were carried out around Mosul and targeted military units and fortified positions belonging to ISIS near the front line.
Furthermore, the spokesperson for the UK government in the Middle East and North Africa Edwin Samuel said that “sectarian conflicts are extending the life of ISIS” and stressed that “the international coalition is determined to fight ISIS with the help of active countries in the region”.