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First French strike targets Islamic State depot in Iraq

‘Other operations will follow in the coming days,’ Paris promises as anti-jihadist coalition materializes

French Rafale fighter jets flying on a reconnaissance mission against the Islamic State over Iraq after taking off from the al-Dhafra base in the United Arab Emirates, September 15, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/ECPAD/EMA/Armee de L'air)
French Rafale fighter jets flying on a reconnaissance mission against the Islamic State over Iraq after taking off from the al-Dhafra base in the United Arab Emirates, September 15, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/ECPAD/EMA/Armee de L'air)

PARIS — France announced Friday it had conducted its first airstrike in Iraq and had destroyed a logistics depot held by the Islamic State group.

The office of President Francois Hollande said Rafale fighter jets struck the depot in northeastern Iraq on Friday morning and the target was “entirely destroyed.”

“Other operations will follow in the coming days,” said Hollande’s office in a statement. It did not elaborate on the type of material at the depot or its exact location.

At a news conference a day earlier, Hollande said France had agreed to “soon” conduct airstrikes requested by Iraq to bolster its fight against IS fighters who have captured swaths of the country.

He stressed that France wouldn’t go beyond airstrikes in support of the Iraqi military or Kurdish Peshmerga forces, and wouldn’t attack targets in Syria, where IS has also captured territory.

French jets on Monday began flying reconnaissance missions over Iraq involving Rafales and an ATL2 surveillance plane, military spokesman Col. Gilles Jaron said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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