October 27, 2016

France to ramp up airstrikes against Isis

French President Francois Hollande AP

French President, Francois Hollande, has said a coalition involved in a bombing campaign against Isis will “accelerate” air strikes.

“The pace of the interventions will be accelerated and France will play its role in this,” Mr Hollande said in a New Year’s address to French and foreign ambassadors on Thursday, AFP reports.

Mr Hollande said any political negotiations to end the Syrian crisis needed to provide clarity on the future leadership of the country.

He added Paris was ready to train Libyan security forces once a government was fully in place and warned the power vacuum in Lebanon needed to be resolved urgently.

The announcement comes after defence chiefs in France pledged to intensify their fight against Isis in an effort to take advantage of recent battlefield gains against the terror group.

Ministers from the United States, Britain and four other countries also agreed to escalate their campaign against Isis, during talks in Paris on Wednesday.

At a news conference with French Defence Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, US Defence Secretary, Ash Carter, said there was broad agreement on a co-ordinated plan to battle Isis over the next year and re-take key cities under the militants’ control.

“Raqqa and Mosul must be won back,” Mr Le Drian said, adding it can only succeed if the coalition supports the local forces on the ground in Iraq and Syria.

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