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France launches first air strike against IS in Iraq: Hollande

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-09-19 19:57

PARIS - France's President Francois Hollande said on Friday French jets had launched first air strikes against Islamic State (IS) fighters in Iraq where they seized major towns and threatened the region's security.

"This morning at 9:40 (0740 GMT) our Rafale jets launched a first strike against a logistics depot of the terrorists," Hollande said in a statement issued by his office.

On Thursday, French head of state announced air support to quell Islamists militants at the request of Iraqi authorities, pledging to start air strikes soon once reconnaissance flights had identified targets.

Meanwhile, Hollande said would not deploy ground troops in the conflict-torn country.

"We will not go beyond that ... we will only intervene in Iraq ... In Iraq we were called for help by the Iraqi authorities," Hollande said at a press meeting.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls would outline French military operation in Iraq at the parliament next week, the communique added.

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