French Warplanes Strike Islamic State Base in Syria

French jets bomb the headquarters of the Islamist group that claimed responsibility for attacks in Paris.

French fighter jets take off to target Islamic State bases in Syria, November 15
French fighter jets take off to target Islamic State bases in Syria, November 15 (Ministère de la Défense )

France stepped up its war against the self-declared Islamic State in Iraq and Syria on Sunday after the group had claimed responsibility for a series of terrorist attacks in Paris two days earlier that left more than 130 dead.

The French Ministry of Defense said ten fighters jet, flying from bases in Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, attacked a command center, munitions depot and training camp in the Syrian city of Raqqa which the Islamic State claims as its headquarters.

French president François Hollande said on Saturday the attacks in Paris were “an act of war.”

He declared a national state of emergency — the first in half a century — and closed France’s borders.

Sunday night’s airstrikes came after Belgian and French authorities launched a manhunt for a possible eight suspect on Sunday.

Police said seven terrorists died in the attacks which targeted the Stade de France in the north of Paris as well as restaurants and a concert hall in the 11th arrondissement. Six died when they detonated explosives on themselves. A seventh was shot dead by police.

At least two of the suicide bombers were identified. The brother of one of the attackers was detailed by Belgian police.

Three weeks ago, France deployed its only aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, to the Eastern Mediterranean to support the Arab-Western military campaign against the Islamic State. France was the first Western country to join the United States in fighting the militants last year after they had conquered swathes of eastern Syria and western Iraq.

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