France, Russia Step up Air Strikes on IS Group in SyriaWorld | November 17, 2015, Tuesday // 16:59| views
An handout photograph issued by the French Ministry of Defense on 17 November 2015 shows a French fighter jet part of the Operation Chammal taking off from a base in the Gulf. EPA/BGNES
French and Russian warplanes hit targets of the Islamic State group in Syria on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
The French airstrikes, in which 10 warplanes were involved, targeted a command post and a recruitment centre for jihadist fighters in the town of Raqqa, the stronghold of the the Islamic State group.
Reuters also quoted a French government source as saying that Russia had also hit targets of jihadist organization in Raqqa on Tuesday.
A U.S. government official told Reuters separately that Russia had informed the United States in advance “before launching a "significant number" of strikes in Syria on Tuesday”. Moscow and Washington agreed on air safety protocols in Syria last month.
Moscow has advised Washington that it would use both long-range bombers and cruise missiles in its strikes.
Russian strategic bombers had hit positions of the Islamic State group in Syria, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu informed President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, TASS reported.
Shoigu said that 34 cruise missiles had been launched to hit Islamic militants’ targets in Aleppo and Idlib provinces.
"The number of sorties has been doubled, which makes it possible to deliver powerful precise strikes at ISIL facilities” on the territory of Syria, Shoigu said, according to TASS.
Russia intensified air strikes on targets of the Islamic State group after the head of the country’s federal security service FSB said that last month’s crash of the Russian Airbus A321 passenger jet in Egypt’s Sinan peninsula. The Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for the crash.
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