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France to provide Iraq with artillery for anti-IS operations

Iraqi government forces have set their eyes on the the IS-held city of Mosul [Getty]

Date of publication: 23 July, 2016

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Paris steps up its moves against the militant group in the wake of the deadly attack on Nice.

French President Francois Hollande said Friday that France will send heavy artillery to Iraq to be used in the fight against the Islamic State group there.

The president said that the weapons "will be in place next month".

He also said that French ground troops will not be deployed in Iraq, after attending a high-level security meeting in Paris. The meeting was the fourth of its kind since the IS-claimed attack on Nice on July 14, when 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel drove a lorry into crowds celebrating Bastille Day, killing 84.

Hollande also affirmed that France's Charles De Gaulle aircraft carrier would be used for operations against the IS group in the region.

According to AFP, a presidential aide revealed that Paris was also planning to send military advisors to train Iraqi soldiers to use the weapons.

France is part of the US-lead coalition carrying out aerial attacks on the IS group in Iraq and Syria.

French soldiers have also been carrying out operations in Libya against the militants, which has caused tension between Paris and Libya's UN-backed government in Tripoli.

After three French troops were recently killed in a helicopter accident in Libya, President Hollande confirmed on Wednesday that France is carrying out operations in the country.

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