World

Actions

France Targets ISIS, First Non-U.S. Airstrikes Launched

French President Francois Hollande announced the first non-U.S. airstrikes against ISIS Friday, but France only plans to target militants in Iraq.
Posted at 10:13 AM, Sep 19, 2014

Turns out French President Francois Hollande doesn't take long to fulfill promises.

FRANCOIS HOLLANDE ON EURONEWS: "Weakening the terrorists, I clearly affirm the necessity of this air support."

Only hours after that Thursday press conference, Hollande's office sent the press a statement Friday morning saying France had launched its first airstrike against ISIS, the Sunni militant group that's taken over large swaths of Syria and Iraq with brutal tactics.

The statement said Rafale military fighters destroyed an ISIS logistics depot in northeastern Iraq. The strikes make France the first to join the U.S. in airstrikes. 

Being the first to step forward is an interesting position for France, one of the most outspoken opponents of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. (Video via CBS)

While The White House praised Hollande's decision to join airstrikes, the French president with historically low approval ratings said strikes would be limited to Iraq only and no French troops would fight on the ground.

Many experts have said to truly defeat ISIS, someone will have to fight them in Syria — widely considered the militants' stronghold. U.S. allies are wary, though, of fighting ISIS there and essentially helping the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. (Video via Journeyman Pictures)

The U.S. Central Command said Thursday it had conducted 176 airstrikes against ISIS targets since early August. That included strikes destroying armored vehicles and ammunition stockpiles Wednesday and Thursday. (Video via Sky News)