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France has carried out its first airstrike in Iraq against the Islamic State

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France carried out its first airstrikes against a suspected Islamic State target in Iraq on Friday, expanding a United States-led military campaign against the Islamist militants who have already seized a third of the country, as well as large parts of the neighboring country of Syria.

President Francois Hollande announced that the jets attacked “a logistics depot of the terrorists” near the city of Mosul, which has been under Islamic State control for more than three months. President Hollande promised that the French military will carry out more operations against the Islamic State in the days to come.

“Other operations will follow in the coming days with the same goal, to weaken this terrorist organization and come to the aid of the Iraqi authorities,” Hollande said. “There are always risks in taking up a responsibility. I reduced the risks to a minimum.”

The French military action, which closely follows similar airstrikes that have been conducted by the United States in northern Iraq and around Baghdad, appears to have won qualified endorsements from Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s top Shi’ite leader. In a sermon on Friday the elderly cleric acknowledged Iraq’s need for foreign assistance.

“Even if Iraq is in need of help from its brothers and friends in fighting black terrorism, maintaining the sovereignty and independence of its decisions is of the highest importance,” Sistani’s spokesman Sheikh Abdul Mehdi Karbala’i said.

Read more about the story at The Washington Post.

 

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