Hollande in Iraq to review France’s war on ISIS
France is the second contributor to the US-led coalition that has carried out thousands of air strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria
French President Francois Hollande on Monday told French soldiers training Iraqi special forces that involvement on the ground against ISIS was key to preventing terror attacks at home.
"Taking action against terrorism here in Iraq is also preventing acts of terrorism on our own soil," he said at a base of Iraq's elite Counter-Terrorism Service near Baghdad. Hollande had already visited in 2014 and remains the most prominent head of state to come to Iraq since the launch two and half years ago of a US-led coalition against militants.
The French president, who is travelling with Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, will also stop in the autonomous northern region of Kurdistan during his one-day visit. France is the second contributor to the US-led coalition that has carried out thousands of air strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria and provided military equipment, training and advice to Iraqi forces.
Since it joined the United States in the coalition in September 2014, French aircraft have conducted 5,700 sorties, around 1,000 strikes and destroyed more than 1,700 targets, according to defense ministry figures. France has 14 Rafale fighter jets that are stationed in Jordan and the United Arab Emirates and taking part in coalition operations.
Russia urged to stop military action
France on Monday called on Russia to stop military action in Syria and respect a fragile ceasefire brokered by Moscow and Turkey seeking to end nearly six years of war. “We resolutely condemn everything Russia could do in Syria that would contribute to a continuation of fighting,” Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on France Inter radio.
The truce deal, which was welcomed unanimously by the United Nations Security Council, has been repeatedly violated since it began, with warring sides trading the blame. Rebels on Saturday warned they would abandon the truce if the government side continued to violate it, asking the Russians, who support President Bashar al-Assad, to rein in army and militia attacks in the valley by 8:00 p.m.
“We hope talks between separate Syrian forces will continue so the ceasefire can hold,” Cazeneuve said. “We ask the Russians to stop taking part in military operations which are deadly operations,” he added, without specifying which actions in particular he was referring to.
France to help ICC prosecute ISIS militants in SyriaFrance said it is ready to cooperate with the International Criminal Court to probe ISIS militants in Syria for war crimes World News
ISIS suspect extradited to Germany from FranceFederal prosecutors said Friday that a 29-year-old Syrian and three other men face charges in Germany World News
Main suspect in France gas car probe swore allegiance to ISISPolice shot and arrested the 19-year-old woman with two accomplices south of Paris late Thursday. She is the daughter of the car's owner World News
France warns ISIS fighters could flee Libya to Tunisia, EgyptThe capture of Sirte by ISIS last year sparked fears the militants would use it as a springboard for attacks on Europe Middle East
EU vows to help France fight ISIS ‘barbarity’A spate of attacks in Germany since July 18 have left 11 people dead and dozens injured, fuelling public unease World News
France to supply artillery to Iraqi armyPresident Hollande said France will supply weapons to Iraq to support its fight against the ISIS but ruled out any troop deployment Middle East