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French Jets Conduct First Airstrikes Against ISIS In Iraq

A remote camera screen grab provided by the French army shows two Rafale jet fighters flying over Iraq on Friday. French President Francois Hollande announced that the fighters had carried out their first airstrikes in northern Iraq.
AP
A remote camera screen grab provided by the French army shows two Rafale jet fighters flying over Iraq on Friday. French President Francois Hollande announced that the fighters had carried out their first airstrikes in northern Iraq.

French warplanes conducted their first airstrikes against targets in northern Iraq just hours after the U.S. Senate approved arming and training Syrian rebels to enter the fight against Islamic State militants.

Rafale fighters struck a logistics depot, which French President Francois Hollande declared "entirely destroyed."

Hollande, speaking to reporters in Paris, congratulated the pilots "who successfully fulfilled this mission."

A statement released earlier by the Elysée presidential palace promised "other operations will follow in coming days."

The New York Times writes: "Remarking on the violent tactics employed by the Sunni militants, who have conquered wide swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria, Mr. Hollande said Thursday at a news conference in Paris that the group had been able to grow partly because the international community had failed to intervene. But he emphasized that France's role would be limited to providing air support, including strikes, in Iraq."

The Associated Press says: "U.S. Central Command said Thursday the U.S. military has conducted 176 airstrikes in Iraq since Aug. 8. On Wednesday, it hit a militant training camp southeast of Mosul and an ammunition stockpile southeast of Baghdad. It has also conducted a number of strikes this week in Iraq's Anbar province, near the strategic Haditha Dam."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.

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