France Has Just Begun Bombing The SH*T Out Of ISIS
French warplanes launched a ferocious retaliatory assault late Sunday on targets in Raqqa, the de facto Islamic State capital in Syria, after coordination with U.S. defense officials.
The French Defense Ministry said that 10 aircraft dropped 20 bombs on facilities used by the militant group, which has claimed responsibility for Friday’s terror attacks in Paris, striking a command center, a militant-training facility and an arms depot.
Opposition activists reached in Raqqa said they counted at least 30 bombs, which they said hit, among other things, a local football stadium, a museum and medical facilities. They said the strikes had knocked out electricity in the city of about 200,000 people.
The French statement said the operation, launched from bases in the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, was conducted in coordination with the U.S. military command, which has compiled an extensive target list in Raqqa. U.S. officials, speaking at the G20 summit here that President Obama is attending, said the French operation was discussed between the two militaries, as well as in telephone calls Saturday and Sunday between Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and his French counterpart.
In Iraq on Sunday, foreign minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said Iraqi intelligence had obtained information before the Paris attacks that the Islamic State was planning an imminent terrorist attack overseas that may have been targeting “in particular” France, the United States and Iran.
“We notified these countries and warned them,” Jaafari said in a statement. The statement did not include specifics of when the Iraqis acquired the information. U.S. intelligence officials did not confirm the report.
Administration officials said the United States would not alter its strategy against the Islamic State in response to the Paris attacks, despite evidence that the terrorist group was expanding its ability to hit Western targets. In recent weeks, Obama has approved escalation of airstrikes in both Syria and Iraq, and authorized deployment of 50 Special Operations troops to assist Syrian Kurdish and Arab forces pushing toward Raqqa.