France Launches First Anti-ISIS Airstrikes in Syria

The French air force conducted its first airstrikes against ISIS in Syria Sunday morning.

According to the office of French President Francois Hollande, jets struck several targets which had been identified during reconnaissance flights conducted over Syria during the past few weeks.

"Our country thus confirms its resolute commitment to fight against the terrorist threat represented by Daesh [ISIS]," the President's office said. "We will strike each time that our national security is at stake."

France has already carried out airstrikes against ISIS in neighboring Iraq, where the government has not only permitted but encouraged the anti-ISIS coalition to operate in its airspace, but had refrained from expanding operations into Syria until now due to the Assad regime's opposition to foreign air forces operating in its skies.

Military strategists have criticized those western states who have limited their anti-ISIS operation to Iraq, noting that the jihadists' main assets and strongholds located in Syria, and that respecting borders the "Islamic State" has effectively nullified is irrational.

Britain is another country which has largely limited its operations to Iraq, although it has flown reconnaissance missions over ISIS territory in Syria. 

However, while the UK has yet to fly any manned missions over Syria, earlier this month it confirmed a drone strike for the first time, in an operation which killed two high-profile British-born jihadists.


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