France strikes ISIS oil sites in Syria

A man works at a makeshift oil refinery site in al-Mansoura village in Raqqa's countryside, in this file picture taken May 5, 2013.

A man works at a makeshift oil refinery site in al-Mansoura village in Raqqa‘s countryside, in this file picture taken May 5, 2013.


The French army has stepped up its bombing campaign against the Islamic State group’s oil infrastructure with two new strikes in eastern Syria, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Tuesday.

“We struck again twice last night in the Deir Ezzor region, firstly on an oil distribution station and secondly on a gas separation plant,” Le Drian told journalists on the sidelines of a forum on African peace and security in Dakar, Senegal.

It was France’s fourth wave of strikes in Syria since President Francois Hollande decided in September to join the campaign there against IS, and the second in as many days.

On Monday, Le Drian announced a strike on an oil supply centre near Deir Ezzor, on the border between Iraq and Syria.

The two previous waves targeted training camps for foreign jihadists who were suspected of preparing attacks in France.

Hollande said on Thursday last week operations would be expanded to include “all those sites from which terrorists could threaten our territory”.

The president also said France would deploy its nuclear-powered aircraft carrier — the flagship of the French navy — to boost operations against IS in Syria and Iraq.


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