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France bombs ISIL; Iraq, Russia to share data
September 27, 2015, 2:35 pm

US-led coalition fighter jets - including the Iraqi Air Force - have been pounding ISIL positions such as this one in Fallujah, Iraq. But human rights organizations say they are concerned at the number of civilian casualties in such operations [Xinhua]

US-led coalition fighter jets – including the Iraqi Air Force – have been pounding ISIL positions such as this one in Fallujah, Iraq. But human rights organizations say they are concerned at the number of civilian casualties in such operations [Xinhua]


French President Francois Hollande told reporters at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Sunday that six of his country’s fighter jets had destroyed an Islamic State training camp in Syria near the eastern town of Deir ez Zor.

The air strike is the first time France takes direct military action against the extremist Islamist group, which it said was preparing to launch attacks in Europe.

His announcement came amid a flurry of diplomatic initiatives launched on the sidelines of the UNGA to end the Syrian Civil War and destroy the threat the Islamic State (also known as ISIL, or ISIS) poses to the region and beyond.

US Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Iranian counterpart on Saturday amid a new Washington initiative to include Tehran in global efforts to end the Syrian crisis.

Kerry will also meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in New York today to reach consensus on efforts to end the war and destroy the Islamic State.

Russian and US officials have in recent weeks discussed Moscow’s deployment of military forces in Syria as well as ways for them to coordinate in their anti-ISIL campaign.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama are to meet tomorrow to discuss the Syrian conflict.

Meanwhile, Iraq announced on Sunday that it would begin sharing intelligence reports about ISIL activities with Iran, Russia and Syria.

Iran had previously provided support for Shia militias fighting ISIL and has sent troops and materiel to protect holy sites in the center and south of the country.

A military communique in Baghdad said that Iraq will “help and cooperate in collecting information about the terrorist Daesh (Arabic for ISIL) group,” and that the coordination comes amid “increased Russian concern about the presence of thousands of terrorists from Russia undertaking criminal acts with [ISIS]”.

On Sunday, the Pentagon said the US-led coalition had carried out a total of 23 air raids against ISIL in Iraq and Syria. The Canadian Air Force, part of this coalition, said it launched 18 air strikes against ISIL in Iraq alone.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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