French warplanes strike ISIS caspital, Raqqa

news
16 November 2015

French warplanes struck the de facto capital of the Islamic State at Raqqa in Syria yesterday, after coordinated attacks claimed by the jihadists left 129 people dead in Paris (See: France under emergency: terrorists kill over 120 in multiple attacks).

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As France observed a one-minute silence to mourn the victims of the carnage, even as the French government resolved to fight the group a dozen warplanes pounded IS targets in the Islamists' stronghold of Raqqa.

According to the French defence ministry, the strike destroyed an IS command post, jihadist recruitment centre, a munitions depot and a "terrorist" training camp.

The air raids came after president Francois Hollande described the attacks an "act of war" and vowed to strike back "without mercy".

Meanwhile, the French police released a photograph of a "dangerous" suspect wanted over the attacks.

The 26-year-old suspect, Salah Abdeslam is believed to be one of the three brothers linked to the attacks. He is also wanted in Belgium, which had issued an international arrest warrant for him.

According to officials on both sides of the Atlantic, the attackers in Friday's terrorist assault in Paris communicated at some point with known members of the Islamic State in Syria. They claim with some evidence, that ISIS had helped coordinate the attacks or had helped the attackers.

Meanwhile, the Islamic State released statements Saturday claiming responsibility for the attacks, part of increasing indications that the group was extending its reach far beyond its base in Syria and Iraq.

"It is an act of war that was prepared, organised and planned from abroad, with complicity from the inside, which the investigation will help establish," Hollande said on Saturday.

Information on the attacks suggest though the links between the Islamic State and the Paris attackers were not definitive, at the same time it pointed at a minimum that the assailants had received help.





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