French warplanes bombard Isis Raqqa strongholds two days after Paris attacks

20 bombs were dropped on an Isis command outpost and training camp in France's biggest ever bombing raid against Isis

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The Independent Online

12 French warplanes have bombarded Raqqa, the de facto 'capital' of Isis in Syria, two days after bombing and gun attacks in Paris killed 129 people.

The air strikes late on Sunday were the first since the Paris attacks, and saw 12 French air force planes drop 20 bombs on Isis positions.

The French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the Charles De Gaulle, also began making final preparations to set sail for the Persian Gulf on Wednesday, signifying more heavy strikes are yet to come.

Sunday's bombing was the biggest French air raid that has taken place in Syria so far, and was described as a "massive" attack by a French defence ministry spokesman.

According to a statement released by the ministry, the first target that the planes destroyed was a command post, which housed a recruitment centre and arms and munitions depot.

The second target to be destroyed in the raid was a "terrorist training camp".

The French planes took off from bases in Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, in an operation that was conducted in co-ordination with US forces.

Shortly after the raid, the French air force released a video of the imposing planes taking off for their bombing mission.

Anti-Isis activist group, Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, have said that no civilians were killed or injured in the French bombing raids, citing sources in local hospitals.

There are indications that more strikes against Isis are ahead - the French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle will set sail for the Persian Gulf on Wednesday 18 November, as was announced before the attacks on Friday.

The aircraft carrier will make more planes available for use against Isis, and will also dramatically cut the time it takes for French planes to reach their targets in the region.

The Charles De Gaulle is capable of carrying up to 40 jets and helicopters, and will "bolster Paris' firepower in the region," as President Francois Hollande said.

Hollande called the Paris attacks an "act of war" in a speech on Saturday, and said "France will be merciless towards these barbarians."

Prime Minister Manuel Valls has also vowed to "destroy" those behind the attacks.

Thousands of French soldiers have been deployed on the streets of the country, to provide reinforcements to regular police while France endures a three-day period of national mourning and a state of emergency.

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