France carries out airstrikes in Syria against Islamic State
Six French jet fighters targeted and destroyed an Islamic State (IS) training camp in eastern Syria in a five-hour operation yesterday, President Francois Hollande announced, making good on a promise to go after the group that he has said is planning attacks against several countries, including France.
The multiple air strikes were the first in Syria by France as it expands its mission against IS, until now centred in Iraq.
"The camp was totally destroyed," Hollande said Sunday after arriving at the United Nations, before the start of a major development summit and the United Nations General Assembly bringing together world leaders.
"We're sure there were no casualties among civilians", he added.
The French president's office announced the strikes, without details, in a statement hours earlier.
"Our nation will strike each time our national security is at stake," the statement said.
Hollande told reporters the strikes on the training camp, and others to come, were aimed at "protecting our territory, cutting short terrorist actions, acting in legitimate defence."
However, the limited strikes will likely have but a limited effect. The United States-led coalition has been carrying out regular air strikes that punish but have failed to decimate IS, which controls large swaths of Syria.