French jets strike ISIS command center in Iraq
French warplanes “destroyed” an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group command center and a training camp near the key northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the defense ministry said Tuesday.
“The target was hit” in the nearby city of Tal Afar, a French official said.
It took place as French President Francois Hollande visited Washington for talks with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama.
Eleven days after the deadly attacks that killed 130 people in Paris, Obama and Hollande announced they would intensify their air raids against ISIS, and urged Russia to focus its military efforts against the group.
The aerial assault, which took place around 1830 GMT, was conducted jointly with the U.S. Air Force and last about five hours, the French defense ministry said in a statement.
The Rafale jets took off from the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It has been deployed since Monday in anti-ISIS operations.
On Monday, aircraft that took off from the carrier provided aerial support to Iraqi troops battling ISIS in Ramadi and Mosul.
Late Monday, they also hit the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa in northern Syria, targeting a command center, a vehicle storage area and maintenance facilities.