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France Drops 20 Bombs On ISIS Capital In Retaliatory Strike

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter
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French fighter jets bombarded the Islamic State’s defacto capital in Syria Sunday night in retaliation Friday’s deadly terror attacks in Paris.

Twelve French aircraft dropped 20 bombs on two ISIS targets in Raqqa in what one defense official told the Associated Press was a “massive” strike. A terrorist training camp and a jihadist command center, recruitment center and munitions depot were destroyed, the French Defense Ministry said in a statement reported by the Guardian.

The U.S. supplied France with information on the targets, which had been identified in reconnaissance flights. Ten fighter jets and two other French aircraft led the strike, which was launched simultaneously from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, in coordination with U.S. forces.

Hospitals in Raqqa had not initially reported civilian casualties, although the targeted sites included clinics, a museum and urban buildings, reported The New York Times.

France had been conducting airstrikes on ISIS in Iraq, but only recently and sparingly began bombing targets inside Syria, all in an effort to avoid helping Bashar al-Assad’s regime. French President Francois Hollande has promised a “merciless” response to the terror attacks ISIS has claimed responsibility for, and which have left more than 120 dead.

“We are going to lead a war which will be pitiless,” he said after the attacks. “Because when terrorists are capable of committing such atrocities they must be certain that they are facing a determined France, a united France, a France that is together and does not let itself be moved, even if today we express infinite sorrow.”

President Barack Obama resisted calls for a more aggressive U.S. strategy against ISIS, saying Monday the current strategy is working.

France released video of jets launching the strike.

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