French Rafale jets strike IS in Iraq

2:40:00 PM
PARIS, -- France has conducted its first air strike against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq, the government announced on 18 September.

French Air Force Dassault Rafale combat aircraft attacked and destroyed a depot in the northeast of the country on the same day as the announcement, said President Francois Hollande's office.

No further details were disclosed, but President Hollande said operations would continue over the coming days.

News of the strike comes a week after the French government announced that it was sending Rafale jets to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to join the United Kingdom in flying intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance (ISR) flights over Iraq.

While countries such as Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the UK have either pledged their support or are currently contributing aircraft to the US-led mission against IS, France is to date the only other country apart from the US to have conducted air strikes.

Separate to the US-led coalition, Iran has also been involved in striking IS positions from the air.

(PHOTO) Sept.19, 2014 by the French Army's video and photo department ECPAD shows two Rafale jet fighters fly over Iraq Friday. Joining U.S. forces acting in Iraqi skies, France conducted its first airstrikes Friday against the militant Islamic State group, destroying a logistics depot that it controlled, Iraqi and French officials said. Rafale fighter jets accompanied by support planes struck the depot in northern Iraq on Friday morning, and the depot, which helped the extremist group launch operations, was “entirely destroyed,” President Francois Hollande said.


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