French warplanes bombard Islamic State ‘capital’ in Syria
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French warplanes bombard Islamic State ‘capital’ in Syria

20 bombs dropped on Raqqa, major stronghold of jihadist group, two days after Hollande called Paris attacks ‘act of war’

Adiv Sterman is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Fighters from the Islamic State group parade in Raqqa, north Syria, in June 2014. (AP/Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group/File)
Fighters from the Islamic State group parade in Raqqa, north Syria, in June 2014. (AP/Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group/File)

French fighter jets on Sunday bombarded the Syrian city of Raqqa — a major stronghold and self-declared capital of the radical Islamic State group — destroying a command post and a training camp, France’s Defense Ministry said.

According to AFP, 12 warplanes, including 10 fighter bombers, dropped 20 bombs on the targets.

“The first target destroyed was used by Daesh (another Arabic acronym for IS) as a command post, jihadist recruitment centre and arms and munitions depot. The second held a terrorist training camp,” a ministry statement said.

The planes left from Jordan and the United Arab Emirates and was conducted in coordination with American forces, the ministry said.

The airstrike comes two days after French President Francois Hollande vowed to attack the Islamic State group without mercy as the jihadist group admitted responsibility Saturday for orchestrating the deadliest attacks on France since World War II.

At least 129 people died Friday night in shootings at Paris cafes, suicide bombings near France’s national stadium and a hostage-taking inside a concert hall. Hundreds more were injured, dozens critically.

French troops deployed by the thousands, and tourist sites were shuttered in one of the most visited cities on earth as more details of the investigation emerged.

As many as three of the seven suicide bombers who died in the attacks were French citizens, as was at least one of the men arrested in neighboring Belgium.

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