France Responds to Paris Attacks by Bombing IS Headquarters in SyriaWorld | November 16, 2015, Monday // 08:42| views
An undated handout photograph issued by the French Ministry of Defense on 15 November 2015 shows a French fighter jet part of the Operation Chammal taking off from a base in the Gulf. Photo: EPA
France responded to Friday's attacks in Paris, which had claimed the lives of 129 people and left hundreds injured, by launching airstrikes on the Islamic State (IS) stronghold of Raqqa on Sunday.
According to the French Defence Ministry, ten warplanes dropped twenty guided bombs on four IS targets in Raqqa, which is the headquarters of IS in Syria.
The bombing on Sunday has been the largest so far conducted by France in Syria and was described as a “massive” attack.
Among the targets hit by planes were a command post, which housed a recruitment centre and arms and munitions depot, and a “terrorist training camp”.
The French planes took off from bases in Jordan and the United Arab Emirates and the strikes were conducted in cooperation with United States (US) forces.
An anti-IS activist group informed of no civilian casualties in the French airstrikes, the Independent informs.
The French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle, also began making final preparations to depart for the Persian Gulf on Wednesday, which indicates that more heavy strikes are yet to come.
The aircraft carrier will make more planes available for use against IS and will also dramatically reduce the time it takes for French planes to reach their targets in the region.
French President Francois Hollande declared the attacks in Paris as an "act of war organised by IS" and vowed to be merciless towards the perpetrators.
IS claimed responsibility for the gun and bomb attacks, which were conducted by eight men armed with suicide belts and machine guns at six sites across Paris.
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