France air strikes in Syria: '33 Isis militants killed' in Raqqa in three days as Russia adds to onslaught

Moscow also ordered cruise missiles be fired on the de-facto Isis capital in retribution for last month’s downing of a civilian airliner

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Wednesday 18 November 2015 13:32 GMT
French Rafale fighter jets in flight
French Rafale fighter jets in flight (EPA)

A total of 33 Isis militants have been killed in northern Syria by air strikes carried out by France and Russia in the past three days, it has been reported.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) monitoring group said the deaths were the result of the bombing campaign carried out on Raqqa – the de-facto Isis capital – since Sunday night.

French President Hollande has called for strengthened international co-ordination against Isis following the brutal attacks in Paris that killed 129 people on Friday, and the country’s military has carried out three “massive” air strikes on Raqqa in the past three days.

EU countries have pledged military aid to France in its fight against the militant group, while the US has promised a new drive to help Turkey seal its border with Syria completely.

French warplanes dropped 20 bombs on Raqqa just two days after the Paris attacks in the country’s biggest raid against Isis, after President Hollande vowed to “destroy” the group.

Syria: French Air Force jets hit IS targets in Raqqa

Air strikes carried out on Tuesday destroyed a jihadist command post and a training camp, according to French military spokesman Col Gilles Jaron.

The Kremlin has confirmed the Russian military also targeted Raqqa in this period, firing multiple cruise missiles at the stronghold in retaliation for the Isis-claimed attack that brought down a Russian airliner over Egypt, killing 224 people.

Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to “strengthen” efforts against Isis in the area.

"Our military work in Syria must not only continue," he said.

"It must be strengthened in such a way so that the terrorists will understand that retribution is inevitable."

SOHR claimed dozens of families of non-Syrian Isis leaders and members had started to flee the city claiming it is no longer safe. They are said to be relocating in the city of Mosul, Iraq.

A spokesperson for the SOHR told The Independent there were reportedly no civilian casualties or deaths caused by the air strikes.

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