France has launched its first airstrike against the militant group ISIS. According to officials, a logistics depot controlled by the Iraqi group was destroyed because of the strike. There is more expected over the “coming days.”
So far, the U.S. military has been involved in 176 airstrikes in the country since August 8. The strikes have been retaliation for ISIS executing two American citizens. Britain has been called to join forces, especially after the beheading of one of its own. However, it seems the U.K. government has not focused its efforts on the international problems, while faced with the Scottish referendum yesterday.
France decided to join the fight, and has stated that there will be more. It focused its efforts on the northeast depot in Iraq on Friday morning, destroying it completely. The country is the first foreign country to join the U.S. efforts.
The French airstrike took place while U.S. General Martin Dempsey was visiting the country. He was working with General Pierre de Villiers and visiting a Normandy American military cemetery at the time. Dempsey instantly praised the French for the efforts, and explained that the target was just north of Mosul. However, no other information was shared right away. Dempsey made a point to note how the French have always been the American’s ally, and this relationship has clearly continued.
France launching the airstrike against ISIS is not a surprise to many. President Francois Hollande had already spoken about conducting airstrikes at some point in the future. However, nothing more than airstrikes is expected. The country is simply supporting the Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraqi forces fighting against the militant group.
There have been questions over whether France will target ISIS within Syria. However, Hollande previous announced that the airstrikes would not go over the border.
The French government had previous been against America going to war with Iraqi in 2003. Officials disagreed that the war was justified, and refused to help. Times have changed now that ISIS has caused fear and disruption across the world.
Britain is expected to do something soon, especially now that the debate over Scottish independence is over. The latest video from the Islamic State group was of a British man delivering a propaganda message. John Cantlie has been missing for the last two years, and appeared on the video to criticize the U.K. and U.S. governments. He warns that the western world needs to stop fighting and give in to ISIS.
It appears to be a change of tactics for the militant group. After the recent beheadings, all Muslims had been criticized for the actions, rather than ISIS getting the results it wants. The new tactics seem to be more of a peaceful approach, but only time will tell whether this continues. The video did not include any ISIS members, but did make Cantlie appear under duress throughout.
There are many discussions around the world about what to do now. So far, only the U.S. has been willing to attack. Now France has decided it must intervene, and started with its first airstrike against ISIS this morning.
By Alexandria Ingham