France destroys 35 IS targets in Syria

France destroys 35 IS targets in Syria

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The French military said it has destroyed 35 so-called Islamic State targets in Syria since last week’s attacks in Paris.

Military spokesman Colonel Gilles Jaron said that French planes dropped about 60 bombs on six sites, and all the targets were IS command centres or training sites.

He told reporters the strikes were aimed at weakening and disorganising IS.

France, taking part in the US-led coalition against IS extremists in Syria and Iraq, sharply increased its air strikes in Syria after Friday’s attacks.

The Charles de Gaulle nuclear-powered aircraft carrier left on Wednesday for the eastern Mediterranean, tripling France’s airborne forces in the fight against IS.

Meanwhile, a Russian deputy foreign minister said 160 Russians fighting for IS have been killed in Syria.

Russian news agencies quoted Oleg Syromolotov as saying that out of some 2,700 Russians fighting in Syria, 73 have returned and been convicted and 36 placed under arrest.

In September Russia began carrying out attacks on IS positions to support Syria president Bashar Assad’s forces.

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday pledged to intensify Russia’s air operation there after the Russian intelligence chief announced that a bomb brought down a Russian plane over Egypt on October 31, killing all 224 on board.

IS claimed responsibility for the attack but Russians would not say whether they think the group was behind it.

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