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France Blasts ISIL Targets in Third Night of Airstrikes on Syria’s Raqqa

© AP Photo / ECPADFrench fighter planes prepare to take off from an unidentified location in this still image taken from handout video released on November 16, 2015. French warplanes pounded Islamic State positions in Syria on November 15, 2015 as police in Europe widened their investigations into coordinated attacks in Paris that killed more than 130 people
French fighter planes prepare to take off from an unidentified location in this still image taken from handout video released on November 16, 2015. French warplanes pounded Islamic State positions in Syria on November 15, 2015 as police in Europe widened their investigations into coordinated attacks in Paris that killed more than 130 people - Sputnik International
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The French military has launched a new series of airstrikes against the self-proclaimed capital of the Islamic State terrorist group in Raqqa.

"At this moment, our air force…10 fighter jets are against hitting Raqqa, and as you know tomorrow the aircraft carrier Charles De Gualle will leave for the eastern Mediterranean to continue strikes on specific targets in particular around Raqqa and Deir ez-Zour," said French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, according to Reuters.

This photo released on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015 by the French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD) shows French army Rafale fighter jets flying towards Syria as part of France's Operation Chammal launched in September 2015 in support of the US-led coalition against Islamic State group - Sputnik International
French Strikes Hit 2 Targets in Attacks on ISIL Stronghold in Syria’s Raqqa

"The number of French air force airstrikes on ISIL targets will grow," he added, saying that there would be 36 fighter jets in the region capable of striking IS targets once the Charles de Gaulle reaches its destination.

Using 10 Rafale and Mirage 2000 fighter jets, the, most recent strikes eliminated a terrorist command center and training center according to the French Defense Ministry.

"Both targets were hit and destroyed simultaneously," the ministry said in a statement. "Conducted in coordination with US forces, the raid was aimed at sites identified during reconnaissance missions previously carried out by France."

Situation in Paris after series of terror attacks - Sputnik International
Paris Terror Attacks Force a Sea Change in French Policy – French Deputy

In light of the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday, France has stepped up its efforts to strike the self-proclaimed Islamic State terrorist group in Syria. This has signaled renewed cooperation between France and Russia.

Le Drian also praised Russia’s missile strikes against Raqqa.

Earlier Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian military to "establish direct contact with the French and work with them as allies."

In a telephone conversation, Vladimir Putin and Francois Hollande agreed to ensure military and intelligence cooperation between Russia and France. 

This is the latest major French airstrike against the IS stronghold, after dropping 20 bombs the city on Monday.

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