DAMASCUS – French forces launched Sunday several airstrikes on a training camp for the Islamic State (ISIS) extremist group in the eastern Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor, President Francois Hollande said in a statement.
“Our forces hit their (ISIS) target near Deir ez-Zor,” the French President confirmed on Sunday.
The strikes were carried out by French warplanes hours after Hollande ordered anti-ISIS operations in Syria.
Sunday’s strikes, which come as the first French operation in Syria within the framework of fight against ISIS terrorist threat, were conducted in coordination with regional partners, according to the French presidency.
“We will strike any time our national security is at stake,” Hollande said.
French warplanes are already involved in air strikes against the extremist group in neighboring Iraq.
The announcement of the strikes in Syria comes the day before Hollande joins world leaders for the start of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, where the four-year Syrian war is expected to be at the centre of debate, according to the AFP.
France has also called for a comprehensive response to Syria’s civil war.
“Civilian populations must be protected against all forms of violence, that of Daesh (ISIS) and other terrorist groups, but also against the murderous bombings of (Syrian President) Bashar al-Assad,” the statement concluded.
Reporting by: Laila Majdalawi
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