France carries out first air strikes on ISIL in Syria
PARIS - Agence France-Presse
REUTERS photoFrance said Sept. 27 it had carried out its first air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in Syria following nearly three weeks of surveillance flights.
The office of President Francois Hollande said the strikes early Sept. 27 were aimed at targets identified during surveillance missions conducted since September 8.
The operation to "fight the terrorist threat" of ISIL was coordinated with regional partners, a statement said.
"We will strike any time our national security is at stake," it said.
In an announcement early this month, France cited legitimate defence as its rationale for planning the strikes, while ruling out ground operations.
French planes are already involved in air strikes against the jihadists in neighbouring Iraq.
Sunday's statement called for a "comprehensive response (to the) Syrian chaos", saying: "Civilian populations must be protected against all forms of violence, that of Daesh (ISIL) and other terrorist groups, but also against the murderous bombings of (Syrian President) Bashar al-Assad."