France conducts successful airstrike on Islamic State

French President Francois Hollande confirmed France had conduced airstrikes in Iraq on Islamic State targets.
By Gabrielle Levy  |  Sept. 19, 2014 at 8:15 AM
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PARIS, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- French forces conduced airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq Friday, the first of many in coming days.

French President Francois Hollande confirmed the strikes on IS targets in Iraq, and said French jets had conducted reconnaissance flights and provided weapons to Kurdish fighters on the ground.

"The objective was hit and completely destroyed," the president said. "Other operations will follow in the coming days."

A spokesman for the Iraqi military, Qassim al-Moussawi, named the town of Zumar as the French target, adding that the strikes had killed dozens of militants.

Hollande said Thursday France would only target IS in Iraq, not in Syria. And at a conference in Paris Monday, 26 more countries pledged commitment to join the effort to fight IS, bringing the total coalition members of 40 nations.

The U.S. is likely to begin airstrikes in Syria, and this week, Congress passed approval of the administration's plan to train and arm Syrian rebels.

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