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French warplanes pound Isis Syria stonghold

The Local · 17 Nov 2015, 08:49

Published: 17 Nov 2015 08:49 GMT+01:00

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French warplanes carried out fresh raids overnight against the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa in northern Syria,
destroying a command centre and training centre, the army general staff said Tuesday.

"For the second time in 24 hours the French military conducted an air raid against Daesh in Raqqa in Syria," it said in a statement, using another name for the jihadist group.

The raids, which follow a similar bombardment on Sunday came a day after President François Hollande vowed to crush Isis.

Speaking in a rare joint session of the French parliament at the Palace of Versailles, Hollande described the coordinated attacks that killed 129 people as "acts of war." The French president urged a global fightback to crush Isis and said he would hold talks with his US and Russian counterparts on a new offensive.

Friday's "acts of war... were decided and planned in Syria, prepared and organised in Belgium (and) perpetrated on our soil with French complicity," Hollande told an extraordinary meeting of both houses of parliament in Versailles.

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"The need to destroy Daesh (Isis or Islamic State) ... concerns the entire international community," he told lawmakers, who burst into an emotional rendition of the La Marseillaise national anthem after his speech (see video below) – only the second time in more than 150 years a French president has addressed a joint session of parliament.

"Terrorism will not destroy the Republic, the Republic will destroy terrorism," Hollande said.

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