London: True to their vow of retaliation, France carried out massive raids in Syria, their biggest to date, in co-ordination with US forces, striking the ISIS stronghold in Raqqa just days after the terror outfit carried a series of coordinated attacks that killed around 129 people.
Raqqa is seen as the de facto capital of the Islamic State’s territory.
According to the Guardian, the French defence ministry has claimed that the raid was launched simultaneously from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.
“The raid, including 10 fighter jets, was launched simultaneously from the UAE and Jordan. Twenty bombs were dropped,” the statement from the ministry said.
The mission that was carried out last evening was carried out with the coordinated aid of forces by the US.
According to the statement, the airstrikes struck a command centre, recruitment centre for jihadists, a munitions depot, and a training camp for fighters. The sites targeted had previously been identified on reconnaissance flights.
The daily also reported that a defence official has claimed the raids to be ‘massive’ and that two jihadi strikes in Raqqa.
Earlier, French President Francois Hollande said the Paris attack were an act of war that that been organised, planned from the outside with ‘inside’ help and swore a merciless retribution.
“We are going to lead a war which will be pitiless. Because when terrorists are capable of committing such atrocities they must be certain that they are facing a determined France, a united France, a France that is together and does not let itself be moved, even if today we express infinite sorrow,” the President said in a statement.
Speaking on the first day of the G20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the decision to launch the airstrikes was an act of ‘self defence’.
“France has always said that because she has been threatened and attacked by Daesh (ISIS), it would be normal that she would react in the framework of self-defence. That’s what we did today with the strikes on Raqqa,” he said. “We can’t let Daesh act without reacting,” he added.
US President Barack Obama, who also addressed the Summit yesterday, said the Paris carnage was an attack on the civilised world and swore to assist France in every way to ‘hunt down’ the perpetrators.
“As was true with the terrible attacks that took place in Ankara, the killing of innocent people based on a twisted ideology is an attack not just on France, but it’s an attack on the civilised world. We stand in solidarity with them in hunting down the perpetrators of this crime and bringing them to justice,” Obama told a joint news conference with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.