ISIS in Syria again came under heavy bombing late Monday night as France launched a second round of air strikes against strongholds of the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” in its adopted capital city of Raqqa. France said that the attacks, the second round of air strikes unleashed by France in the past day, were coordinated with the United States and took out top ISIS facilities with no civilian casualties.
An anti-ISIS activist group — which also says it opposes the Syria government of dictator Bashar al-Assad — in Raqqa posted a running account of the Monday night air strikes on its Twitter account.
— الرقة تذبح بصمت (@Raqqa_SL) November 17, 2015
The group, which calls itself “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently,” also said that the new France bombing raids left no civilian death toll.
“Some people say there is a lot of civilians got killed by #France Airstrikes we want to confirm until now NO civilians got killed,” the group wrote in a statement across five posts in its Twitter feed.
“We don’t know why this people say lies and propaganda about civilians got killed in Raqqa for their own reasons but we want all the world to know that our group will be the first who will report about any civilians who will be killed our injured by any Airstrikes. whether this Airstrikes by Coalition or #France or #USA or #Russia, #SAA we will say that people got hit so plz stop Publishing lies. Of course we don’t like to see people afraid from the Airstrikes and Explosion but we support any action will take #ISIS out from #Raqqa,” the group continued, writing in English.
After the Raqqa activist group reported the air strikes in real time, the French Defense Ministry confirmed that a new round of ISIS-targeting air strikes had indeed taken place.
“For the second time in 24 hours, the French military conducted an air raid against Daesh in Raqqa in Syria,” the ministry said in a prepared statement, using the alternative term “Daesh” to mean ISIS.
France said that the raids took place at 12:30 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time — which would be 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday, November 17, in Raqqa, Syria, and 7:30 p.m. on Monday United States Eastern Time — and involved 10 France Air Force Mirage 2000 and Rafale jets, which dropped 16 bombs on their two targets.
The targets were an ISIS command center in Raqqa, the Syrian city where ISIS has set up it headquarters and acts asm in effect, the city’s government, and a terrorist training center there.
“Both targets were hit and destroyed simultaneously,” the France statement said. “Conducted in coordination with US forces, the raid was aimed at sites identified during reconnaissance missions previously carried out by France.”
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The statement did not address the claims of seven air strikes that appeared on the Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently Twitter page. Nor did either the French government statement or the activist group give an estimate of how many, if any, ISIS militants were killed or injured in the latest air strikes
On Sunday, France launched air strikes against Raqqa, raining 20 bombs on ISIS facilities there, after French President Francois Hollande promised a “merciless” campaign of retaliation against ISIS for the Paris terror attacks on Friday.
A video report on those air strikes can be viewed on this page, above.
France has been part of a United States led coalition that has carried out more than 8,000 air strikes on ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria since last year.
The United States alone has unleashed 6,353 air strikes against ISIS, according to statistics released by the Pentagon on Friday. Of those attacks, 5,321 have been directed against ISIS in Iraq.
But acting on orders from U.S. President Barack Obama, United States forces, as of last Thursday, had carried out 2,804 air strikes against ISIS facilities, fighters and equipment in Syria. The U.S. did not begin bombing ISIS in Syria until September of this year.
With the two new air strikes in the past 24 hours, as of late Monday night, France has now carried out six air strikes against ISIS inside of Syria.
[Featured Photo via Novosti Enya YouTube Screen Capture]