France’s fight against the Islamic State

France’s fight against the Islamic State

Paris has taken part in US-led air strikes in Iraq and Syria on the jihadist group claiming responsibility for the deadly terror attacks

Military soldiers patrol the Austerlitz train station in Paris on November 14, 2015. (AFP PHOTO/ALAIN JOCARD)
Military soldiers patrol the Austerlitz train station in Paris on November 14, 2015. (AFP PHOTO/ALAIN JOCARD)

France, hit late on Friday by the worst terror attacks in its history, has been taking part in air strikes on the jihadist Islamic State since September 2014 in Iraq.

It joined strikes two months ago in Syria.


– September 18: French President Francois Hollande announces his decision to agree to a request from Iraq for air support against the IS. But he stresses “we will go no further,” saying that there will be no ground troops and France will intervene only in Iraq, and not Syria.

– August 8: the United States bombards Islamic State positions in Iraq, before on September 5 launching an anti-jihadist coalition.

– September 19: French fighter jets launch their first raids against IS positions in the north of Iraq.

– October 24: Coalition forces, including French forces, strike and destroy an IS training center in the northern region of Kirkuk.


– February 5: President Francois Hollande says the mission to push back IS had been “too slow,” and vows that France will work “with more and more intensity”.

– February 23: France deploys the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier in the Gulf. It wraps up its mission two months later.

– September 7: France will launch surveillance flights over Islamic State group positions in Syria, Hollande says, while ruling out sending French ground troops to Syria. A day later two French Rafale jets based in the United Arab Emirates carry out their first surveillance flights.

– September 27: France carries out its first air strikes against IS in Syria, with six warplanes hitting an IS training camp near the eastern city of Deir Ezzor.

– October 9: French Rafale warplanes carry out a second wave of strikes overnight on IS targets in Syria, hitting an IS training camp in its Raqa stronghold.

– November 8: The French army steps up its bombing campaign against the Islamic State group’s oil infrastructure with strikes in Deir Ezzor.

– November 13: A series of coordinated attacks by gunmen and suicide bombers in Paris kill at least 128 people in scenes of carnage at a concert hall, restaurants and the national stadium. The following day Islamic State claims responsibility for the killings.

“Crusader France” was guilty of “striking Muslims in the caliphate with their aircraft,” IS said in a statement threatening further attacks.

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