Isis in Iraq: France launches first air strike on Islamic State targets

President Hollande's office says fighter jets have 'destroyed' a logistics depot

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France has carried out its first air strike in Iraq, destroying a logistics depot held by the Islamic State (Isis) militants.

The office of President Francois Hollande said Rafale fighter jets struck the depot in north eastern Iraq and the target was "entirely destroyed". In a statement, it said other operations will continue in the coming days.

At a news conference on Thursday, Mr Hollande said France had agreed to conduct airstrikes requested by Iraq to bolster its fight against Isis fighters who have captured swathes of the country.

However, he stressed France would not go beyond airstrikes in support of the Iraqi military or Kurdish Peshmerga forces, and would not attack targets in Syria, where Isis is also advancing.

The statement did not give details on the type of material at the depot or its exact location.

US Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, praised France for taking such action.

"The French were our very first ally and they are there again for us," he told reporters travelling with him in Normandy.

Gen. Dempsey recently told a senate hearing in Washington that he could envisage recommending sending ground troops into Iraq if air strikes are not sufficient. French jets began flying reconnaissance missions over Iraq on Monday involving Rafales and an ATL2 surveillance plane, military spokesman Col. Gilles Jaron said.

Additional reporting by agencies

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