France fightback: President Hollande sends 10 fighter jets to bomb ISIS capital Raqqa

BY: Dailystar.co.uk
Francois Hollande has reacted quickly to attack ISIS

A command post, training camp, jihadi recruitment centre and weapons factory have been destroyed, according to the French Ministry of Defence.

On Friday night ISIS attacked six locations in Paris, killing at least 129 people, and injuring hundreds more.

One terrorist involved in the atrocities, Abdeslam Salah, is currently on the run.

A Pentagon official earlier said the US and France would be stepping up efforts to bring about a lasting defeat of ISIS.

 

A statement from the French government said: "The raid, including 10 fighter jets, was launched simultaneously from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. 20 bombs were dropped."

The strikes have taken place this evening, with more details of the targets set to emerge.

A French defense official has said the country had launched a "massive" series of airstrikes on Raqqa, ISIS' self-declared capital, involving 12 planes, including 10 fighter jets, with 20 bombs dropped.

The retaliatory strike was launched in conjunction with the US air force, Paris has said.

It has also emerged that Iraq intelligence agencies had warned France on Thursday of an imminent attack.

Baghdad said ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ordered his followers to immediately launch gun and bomb attacks and take hostages inside the countries of the coalition fighting them in Iraq and Syria.

The Iraqi dispatch provided no details on when or where the attack would take place, and a senior French security official told the AP French intelligence gets these kinds of warnings "all the time" and "every day."

Earlier the Pentagon said the US and France had agreed on concrete steps to ramp up the fight with ISIS.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said: "We agreed on concrete steps the U.S. and French militaries should take to further intensify our close cooperation in prosecuting a sustained campaign against Islamic State."

US defense secretary Ash Carter reiterated they were committed to supporting France to make sure ISIS is "dealt a lasting defeat."

Meanwhile another attacker has been named as Bilal Hadfi, who is said to have fought with ISIS in Syria.

One suspect is Ahmed Almuhamed, a Syrian refugee who left the war-torn region in October, and passed into Europe through Greece.

It is thought a second refugee was involved, after entering Europe by claiming asylum in Serbia.

Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking at the G20 summit in Turkey, has said: "It's become even more clear that our safety and security depends on degrading and ultimately destroying Isil whether it's in Iraq or Syria.

"We're playing a huge role in that already in Iraq. Others are taking action in Syria which we both support and enable, but we've got to keep on making the case that we will be safer in the UK, in France, right across Europe if we destroy this death cult once and for all."

Brit Nick Alexander, 36, was among those slaughtered at the Bataclan concert hall, while ISIS also targeted the Stade de France and several restaurants and cafes in a spate of shootings and bomb attacks.

His girlfriend sobbed at a vigil for the victims of the massacre.


WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR ABOUT PARIS ATTACKS

  • Seven people have been arrested in Belgium in connection with the attacks.
    Two of the terrorists killed on Friday night were Frenchmen living in the Belgian capital Brussels. They were aged 20 and 31.
    Abdeslam Salah, 26, is on the run after allegedly hiring a black VW Golf used in the attacks and playing a pivotal role in the planning.
    French police reportedly stopped him yesterday morning near the Belgian border, but he was released after being questioned.
    Salah's two brothers were also involved, with one arrested in Brussels and another killed during the attacks.
    As many as three of the seven suicide bombers were French, as was at least one of the men arrested in Belgium.
    Bilal Hadfi has been named in reports as one of the assailants and is said to have fought with ISIS in Syria.
    A third man, who died in the assault on the Bataclan concert hall, was 29-year-old Ismael Mostefai, a Frenchman with known ties to Islamic radicalism. His father and brother have been arrested.
    Three Kalashnikov assault rifles were discovered inside a Seat car used in the attacks which was found in the suburb of Montreuil, four miles east of Paris.
    Prosecutors believe three teams of terrorists carried out the attacks.
    Two attackers are believed to have been refugees from Syria, with one, believed to be Ahmed Almuhamed, 25, passing through Greece in October. Antoher claimed asylum in Serbia, according to reports.
    129 people were killed, including Briton Nick Alexander, with Home Secretary Theresa May fearing a "handful" of Brits may have died.
    About 350 were injured, at least 95 are critical. Dozens of Brits were caught up in the terrifying scenes in Paris on Friday, and have spoken of their terror.
  • It has emerged that Salah is one of three brothers involved in the attacks: one other is dead, while another is among seven people arrested in Brussels today.