French warplanes launch fresh strikes in Syria

Paris, Nov 17 (IANS) French warplanes carried out a new round of airstrikes on Islamic State (IS) targets in Syria’s Raqqa region on Tuesday, defence officials said.

According to the French defence ministry, there were seven airstrikes and at least three major explosions, CNN reported.

The French military had already conducted a series of airstrikes in Raqqa on Sunday and Monday.

The strikes destroyed a command centre and training centre.

The attacks came in retaliation over the gruesome gun and bomb attacks that took place on November 13 at six places across Paris that killed 129 people and injured 350 others. Seven attackers died in the assault on the French capital, most of them after detonating suicide belts.

France has been conducting airstrikes against IS targets in Syria since September as part of a US-led anti-terror coalition.

Meanwhile, President Francois Hollande on Monday addressed a joint session of the French Parliament — only the third time a president has done so since 1848 — and said he would seek to add 5,000 positions to the country’s paramilitary police force.

The iconic Eiffel Tower lit up in Paris on Monday night in the colours of the French flag.

Other landmarks around the world have done the same in a showing of solidarity.

“Tonight, we are all Parisians,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said at a lighting ceremony at the US embassy in Paris.

The state of emergency continues all across France.

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