French warplanes carry massive airstrikes over IS de facto capital

A French warplane taxis for a bombing mission of IS stonghold. by ForcesFrancaises on Youtube.

French warplanes carried out over 30 airstrikes against positions of the Islamic State (IS) de facto capital of al-Raqqa in northern Syria late Sunday, a monitor group reported.

The strikes targeted the city of al-Raqqa and its surroundings, amid a state of alert among IS militants in the city, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

There is no report on losses among IS militants yet.

The French Defense Ministry said Sunday that French warplanes conducted a series of “massive” airstrikes on al-Raqqa, destroying a key IS command center and a training camp.

Read related story here: Paris Attack ‘Act of War,’ says French President Hollande

“The raid, including 10 fighter jets, was launched simultaneously from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. Twenty bombs were dropped,” a statement said.

Sunday’s airstrikes came as part of the French retaliation against the bloody attacks in Paris on Friday, in which gunmen and bombers with the IS attacked restaurants, a concert hall and a sport stadium, leaving at least 129 people and injuring hundreds more.

Meanwhile, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Sunday said 103 victims out of 129 people killed on Friday’s attacks in Paris have been identified.

Read more related story here: Islamic State claims responsibility as 150 killed in attacks across Paris

“There are between 20 and 30 who are not identified yet. They will be (identified) in the coming hours,” Valls said after visiting a crisis center set up to accompany victims’ families at the Quai d’Orsay.

“No psychologist, no volunteer, no doctor can console them. But we must help them with the process, with identifications, to accompany them through all the administrative tasks,” he added, referring to the victims’ families and relatives.

Many foreigners from Britain, Spain and Portugal were among the victims of France’s worst terrorist attacks, according to local reports.

On Saturday, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins unveiled that three jihadist groups staged coordinated attacks, killing 129 people and injuring 352, including 99 who were in a serious condition.

One of the suicide bombers was identified as Ismail Omar Mustafa, a Frenchman known to have links with Islamist militants.

His father and brother had been arrested earlier on Saturday for questioning, along with other people believed to be close to him.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks to revenge Paris military offensive in Syria and Iraq where the group wants to create its own state and impose its version of Islam law. (PNA/Xinhua)


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