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The New Arab

France, coalition step-up strikes on IS in Iraq

Date of publication: 25 November, 2015

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French and coalition warplanes destroyed Islamic State command centre, a training camp, and weapons and maintenance storage facilities near Mosul, Iraq it was reported on Wednesday.
French and US Air Force warplanes have achieved clear results in Iraq on Tuesday evening after destroying a command centre and a training camp that belong to the Islamic State group near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

A French Defence Ministry statement said that the aerial assault took place at 1830 GMT and lasted for five hours.

A local official in Nineveh Province told al-Araby al-Jadeed that French aircraft targeted IS centres of operation in Tal Afar, west of Mosul, destroying several of them including the Tal Afar command centre.

Many IS militants were killed and weapons and maintenance storage facilities were destroyed, according to the local official. "Plumes of smoke were seen rising from the headquarters, while explosions occurred in the weapons and depots because of the strikes."

The French Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier deployed since Monday in the eastern Mediterranean Sea has been the launch pad for Rafale jets airstrikes on IS targets in Syria and Iraq since Monday. There are 26 fighter jets on board the Charles de Gaulle.

Mosul Provincial Council member Mohammad al-Bajjari praised "the involvement of French planes in the war against [IS]."

Bajjari told al-Araby: "These strikes will accelerate the process of liberating Mosul because of the losses that the organisation will sustain, making the upcoming battle to liberate the province simpler than we imagined."

Bajjari called on the Iraqi government to take advantage of the airstrikes to prepare and equip ground forces that will take part in the battle to liberate Mosul, underscoring the importance of coordination between Iraq and US-led coalition forces.

Coalition forces have recently stepped up their air raids against IS locations killing hundreds of its militants, including senior leaders.

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