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September 19, 2014 – 11:44 am | Views: 280

PARIS (Reuters) – France said on Friday its jets had launched strikes inside Iraq for the first time since the country promised to join military action against Islamic State insurgents who have taken over parts of the country.

Handout shows two French Rafale fighter jets flying in formation during a mission from the Al-Dhafra airbase

Two French Rafale fighter jets fly in formation during a mission from Al-Dhafra airbase on September 18, 2014 in this handout image provided by ECPAD. REUTERS/ECPAD/Armee de l’Air/J. Brunet/Handout via Reuters

“This morning at 9:40 (0840 London time) our Rafale jets launched a first strike against a logistics depot of the terrorists,” President Francois Hollande’s office said a statement issued shortly after the raids.

The target in northeast Iraq was totally destroyed, said the statement, adding that there would be further operations “in the coming days”.

Hollande told a news conference on Thursday that French air strikes were imminent and would take place once reconnaissance flights had identified targets. He said the military action would be limited to Iraq, and no ground troops would be sent.

France has expressed its willingness to be part of the military, political and financial coalition being created by the United States to defeat the Islamic State militants controlling parts of northern Iraq and Syria.

On Monday, Paris hosted an international conference attended by the five U.N. Security Council permanent members, European and Arab states, and representatives of the EU, Arab League and United Nations. The meeting was intended to coordinate a global strategy against Islamic State group.

France began its first reconnaissance flights over Iraq on Monday.

(Reporting by Brian Love and Alexandria Sage; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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Article from: af.reuters.com

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France says it launches first air strikes in Iraq

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