French military chief: ‘It’s safe to say we hurt Isis’

French military chief: 'It's safe to say we hurt Isis'
France and its allies "hurt" Isis forces in Iraq, French military chief has said. Photo: AFP
The leader of France's armed forces said his country's military "hurt" Isis forces in a recent raid led by the international coalition battling the extremists in Iraq.

The international coalition currently battling the Islamic State group in Iraq dropped around 70 bombs on an arsenal and jihadist training centre in a large-scale overnight raid, the French military said on Friday.

"I think it's safe to say we hurt them last night. The operation is a success," France's Chief of the Defence Staff Pierre de Villiers told Europe 1 radio, adding the raid took place in the Kirkuk region of northern Iraq.

France's Rafale fighter jets took part in the operation, which destroyed buildings in which IS militants "produced their traps, their bombs, their weapons to attack Iraqi forces," he said.

"Some 70 bombs were dropped, we fired 12 laser-guided bombs and we hit our target."

Since it announced it would take part in the US-led coalition in September, France has carried out seven rounds of air strikes over Iraq but it has so far refused to join the United States in its air war against IS in Syria.

Overall, US and allied aircraft have flown nearly 6,600 sorties in Iraq and Syria – where IS controls swathes of territory – and dropped more than 1,700 bombs, the US military said Thursday.

The air strikes have helped Kurdish militia defending the embattled Syrian border town of Kobane to hold out against the more heavily armed jihadists but have not stopped IS making new gains in parts of Iraq.

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