France will carry out 'more strikes' against IS in Syria
France will carry out "more strikes" against the Islamic State group in Syria, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Monday.
"There will be more strikes, there will be more actions to protect ourselves, to prevent these training camps for foreign combattants from continuing and training terrorist actors who will come to France, or Europe, to attack us," he said on France's BFMTV.
France carried out its first air strikes in Syria on Sunday, when six French warplanes hit an IS training camp near the eastern city of Deir Ezzor.
"We struck militarily an extremely sensitive site for (IS)," he said, describing it as a "strategic hub" for militants travelling between Iraq and Syria, which also has significant petrol resources.
"We have proof that in the training camps of (IS) in Syria, foreign combattants are preparing, organising themselves not to go fight in the Levant but to carry out attacks in Europe and on our own territory," Le Drian added.
France has been part of the US-led coalition bombarding IS targets in Iraq since September 2014, and has carried out 215 out of nearly 4,500 strikes there, according to French and US figures.
But until now it limited its air strikes on the extremist group to Iraqi territory.
Hollande has been under political pressure to take action against IS after a series of jihadist attacks in France, and fears over hundreds of citizens who have gone to wage jihad who could return home battle-hardened and vengeful.
The United States and its coalition partners including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain and the UAE have carried out more than 2,500 air strikes in Syria, according to US figures.
© 2015 AFP