French warplanes ‘destroy’ Islamic State command centre near Mosul

  • AFP, Washington
  • Updated: Nov 25, 2015 12:22 IST
A French Rafale fighter aircraft takes off with bombs from the French aircraft carrier Charles-de-Gaulle on November 23, 2015 at eastern Mediterranean sea as part of operation Chammal in Syria and Iraq against the Islamic State (IS) group. (AFP)

An Islamic State command center and a training camp near the key northern Iraqi city of Mosul was “destroyed” by French warplanes, the defense ministry has said.

“The target was hit” in the nearby city of Tal Afar, a French official said on Tuesday. It took place as French President Francois Hollande visited Washington for talks with his US counterpart Barack Obama.

Eleven days after the deadly attacks that killed 130 people in Paris, Obama and Hollande announced they would intensify their air raids against IS, and urged Russia to focus its military efforts against the group.

The aerial assault, which took place around 1830 GMT, was conducted jointly with the US Air Force and last about five hours, the French defense ministry said in a statement.

The Rafale jets took off from the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It has been deployed since Monday in anti-IS operations.

On Monday, aircraft that took off from the carrier provided aerial support to Iraqi troops battling IS in Ramadi and Mosul.

Late on Monday, they also hit the IS stronghold of Raqqa in northern Syria, targeting a command center, a vehicle storage area and maintenance facilities.

The 26 fighter jets aboard the aircraft carrier triple French aerial capacity in the region, and come on top of 12 aircraft stationed in the United Arab Emirates and in Jordan.

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