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France to launch surveillance flights against Islamic State

world Updated: Sep 09, 2015 12:21 IST


France will launch surveillance flights over Islamic State (IS) group positions in Syria from Tuesday, President Francois Hollande said on Monday.

"I have asked the defence ministry that from tomorrow surveillance flights can be launched over Syria, allowing us to plan airstrikes against Daesh (the Islamic State group)," Hollande told a press conference in Paris.

He also confirmed that France would not send ground troops into the country.

"I consider it would be inconsequential and unrealistic to send French troops into Syria on the ground," he said.

"Unrealistic because we would be the only ones. Insignificant because it would be transformed into an occupation force, so we won't do it.

"It's for regional forces to take their responsibilities. France, however, will work to find political solutions."

He said that finding a political transition that sidelined Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was "essential".

"The transition is an essential point. Nothing must be done that can consolidate or maintain Bashar al-Assad," he said.