01:45 GMT06 March 2021
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    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)

    Paris needs London's military capabilities to win the war against ISIL, the French defense minister said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has called on the United Kingdom to expand into Syria its air operations in the US-led coalition attacks against the Islamic State, in light of the deadly Paris attacks earlier this month.

    "We need British defence capabilities to win this war. The Royal Air Force is already in action over Iraq. Its involvement over Syria would make a practical difference," the minister wrote in The Guardian newspaper, noting that one of the victims of the Paris attacks was a British citizen.

    According to Le Drian, it is crucial to strike ISIL in its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa to "degrade and, ultimately, to destroy it."

    "It is France’s hope that British forces will soon be working side by side with their French counterparts to take this fight to the very heart of Isis [IS], defeating it and making our countries and peoples safer," the minister concluded.

    On Thursday, UK Prime Minister David Cameron addressed the British House of Commons, lobbying members of parliament to vote in support of airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria.

    London has been carrying out airstrikes against ISIL targets in Iraq since September 2014, but not in Syria, as Cameron lost an earlier parliamentary vote in 2013.

    France is carrying out airstrikes in both Syria and Iraq, having intensified its attacks after ISIL claimed responsibility for the November 13 killings of 130 people in Paris.

    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)


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