French president: We will bomb ISIS in Syria
The move marks a stepping up in France's contribution to the U.S.-led coalition aimed at destroying the militant group
President Francois Hollande said on Monday French air strikes against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants in Syria would be necessary.
“We are part of the coalition in Iraq [against ISIS],” Hollande said in a news conference with his Nigerian counterpart Muhammadu Buhari. “We started reconnaissance flights [in Syria] to enable us to consider air strikes if they were necessary and they will be necessary in Syria.”
Hollande last week said Paris was beginning flights over Syria given the expansion of ISIS over the last year and the threat its militants could have on French interests at home and abroad.
Paris has also been heavily engaged in the fight against al-Qaeda militants in West Africa and has been providing logistical support and intelligence to Nigeria and neighboring states combating Boko Haram militants.
“Boko Haram is linked to Daesh. It receives aid and support from this group. The fight against Boko Haram is the fight against Daesh,” Hollande said, referring to the Arabic acronym for ISIS.
“It is no longer possible to distinguish terrorism from regions. It’s the same terrorism inspired by the same death ideology,” he said.
Hollande last week said Paris was beginning flights over Syria because of the expansion of ISIS over the last year and the threat its militants could have on French interests at home and abroad.
Paris was ready to join air strikes on Assad’s forces in Syria in 2013 before U.S. President Barack Obama backed off the plan.