France carries out first Syria reconnaissance flight
PARIS - Reuters
AFP photoFrance carried out its first reconnaissance flight over Syria earlier on Sept. 8 using Rafale fighter jets, the French Ministry of Defence said, as it extends its combat against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants.
French President Francois Hollande announced on Sept. 7 that France would begin reconnaissance flights over Syria on Sept. 8 that would subsequently enable it to consider air strikes.
France until now has only taken part in air strikes against ISIL in Iraq because it feared strikes against the group in Syria could strengthen Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
An official at the French Ministry of Defence said Tuesday's mission was designed to gather intelligence on ISIL and strengthen France's own ability to assess the situation in Syria.
"Similar missions could be carried out in the coming days," the official said.