France Launches ‘Massive’ Airstrikes Against ISIS Targets in Syria

The bombing campaign comes days after coordinated terror attacks in Paris left 129 dead and more than 350 wounded.

This is what vengeance looks like.

French military jets struck Islamic State militants in a series of “massive” airstrikes on Sunday, a French government official told the New York Times. CNN reports that a group of 12 jets have dropped about 20 bombs on training camps and other strategic targets in Raqqa, the Syrian city that’s served as the de facto capital of the Islamic State since 2013. 

The bombing campaign comes in the aftermath of coordinated terror attacks that left 129 dead and more than 350 injured across Paris on Friday. French President François Hollande declared those terror attacks “an act of war” on Saturday and promised ‘merciless’ retaliation from the French military. 


The French military first carried out airstrikes against ISIS militants in September following weeks of surveillance flights in what the Guardian described as  “turnaround” of France’s approach to the Syrian civil war. “We will strike any time our national security is at stake,” Hollande’s office told the paper at the time.

This footage from the New York Times, released by the French interior ministry, shows fighter jets taking off to engage in a bombing run against targets in Raqqa:

This bombing campaign is likely just the beginning. Reuters reports that pressure is growing on Western governments to step up their military campaigns against the Islamic State, moving beyond the U.S.-led airstrikes of the past several months. 

“It is a game changer in this sense: there were those who debated whether the Islamic State would stay focused local or go global,” former CIA expert on the Middle East Bruce Riedel told Reuters. “I think that debate’s over now.”

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