On Sunday, just two days after deadly terror attacks in Paris that claimed over 130 lives, the French air force reportedly carried out a “major bombardment” against ISIS forces in Syria, CNN reports. The French Ministry of Defense says that the air force targeted sites in Raqqa, Syria, which is a known ISIS stronghold.
It is being reported that in the span of just an hour, the French air force conducted at least 20 strikes on Raqqa. These reports, according to CNN, have been confirmed by both the activist group “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently” and an ISIS-supporting news group.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the horrific terror attacks that rocked Paris on Friday, and French President Hollande replied that it had been an “an act of war.” It appears that the Ministry of Defense decided to retaliate, using the French air force as its weapon against ISIS.
Updates are now streaming in regarding the French air force strikes on Raqqa, Syria. The French air force scrambled twelve aircraft, 10 of which were fighter jets, to drop bombs on various targets throughout Raqqa. The French Ministry of Defense and air force had an array of specific targets on their bombardment list, including a command center, an ISIS training camp, an ammo storage site and even a recruitment center. Raqqa was likely targeted due to ISIS claims that the city is the “capital” of its caliphate.
In total, twenty bombs were dropped by the French air force on the various targets throughout the city. Officials report that all targets were destroyed.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the French air force and French Ministry of Defense relied on intelligence from U.S. intelligence agencies in order to carry out their massive bombardment of ISIS sites within Raqqa. This claim comes from U.S. officials.
When news of the French air force strike on ISIS targets within Syria broke, people from around the world took to social media to share their sentiments. One tweet claims to show photos of the aftermath of the French strikes. The photos are a stark reminder of the images we’ve been seeing of the French terror attacks that took place Friday.
— Doc Thompson (@DocThompsonShow) November 15, 2015
Because ISIS almost immediately claimed responsibility for the Paris terrorist attacks that have now cost more than 130 lives and injured over 350, it is very likely that this strike by the French air force was a direct retaliation for what French President Hollande called an “act of war.” While some citizens have used the tragedy in France to demonstrate tolerance and love, a large segment of the French population and really the global population saw the unprovoked slaughter of so many innocents as a call to arms against radical Islam and ISIS in particular.
Russia has recently been under a lot of western scrutiny for its interference in Syria. Western leaders have publicly condemned Russian airstrikes in the war-torn nation, accusing Vladamir Putin of being out to ensure that President Assad remains in control of the oil-rich Eastern Mediterranean nation, rather than out to destroy ISIS.
It’s even been reported that British Prime Minister Cameron responded, in part, to the French terrorist attacks by calling on Putin to stop targeting moderates in Syria and focus on ISIS instead.
“But the conversation I want to have with Vladimir Putin is to say look, there is one thing we agree about which is we’d be safer in Russia, we’d be safer in Britain if we destroy Isil. That’s what we should be focusing on.”
Even prior to the French terror attacks and French air force strikes on ISIS in Syria, Putin began to lose support for his Syria campaign, even among his own people. This came in the wake of ISIS claiming responsibility for the downing of a Russian passenger plane with over 200 civilians on board.
It has only been days since ISIS agents terrorized Paris, and we’re already seeing a massive and brutal response to the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, Syria. With ISIS terrorist seemingly becoming more bold in their violence, we can wager that this French air force assault won’t be the last.
[Image Courtes of Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images]