France says will begin airstrikes in Syria in coming weeks

2015-09-16 13:03

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Paris (dpa) - France will begin airstrikes in Syria in "the coming weeks" once specific targets are identified, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday.

The airstrikes would be targeted at the Islamic State militant group, Le Drian said on France Inter radio. France has been conducting airstrikes against the extremist group in Iraq with an international coalition since last year.

President Francois Hollande ordered reconnaissance missions to fly over Syria last week, with the aim of collecting information for potential airstrikes.

While French ministers have said a political transition in Syria would require the exit of President Bashar Assad, the airstrikes would be conducted against Islamic State on the basis of it representing a security threat.

Officials have said that airstrikes should not bolster Assad's regime. US and Arab allies started airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria last year.

Read more on:    isis  |  us  |  syria  |  france

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