Hollande meets Iraqi leaders on ISIL plans -UPDATED

France has said it would take part in military action against ISIL fighters in Iraq as part of a coalition being formed by Washington.

Hollande meets Iraqi leaders on ISIL plans -UPDATED

World Bulletin/News Desk

French President Francois Hollande said in Baghdad on Friday he would discuss humanitarian aid and military support for Iraq's fight against ISIL insurgents, ahead of a Paris meeting on Monday of opponents of the militant group.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, after meeting Hollande, said the French president "has promised me today France will participate in this effort striking the positions of terrorists in Iraq."

Abadi added: "The American side has begun doing that. We need this air cover. We do not need partners on the ground and they don't intend to send forces."

Hollande did not address how France would contribute to the air strikes targeting IS positions in Iraq, now being conducted by the US airforce and Iraqi military.

Instead, he said that Monday's conference in Paris was intended to coordinate military aid to Baghdad from Iraq's allies. "We are going to work with our allies. We know the seriousness of the threat," Hollande told reporters.

France has said it would take part in military action against ISIL fighters in Iraq as part of a coalition being formed by Washington.

Hollande was due to visit Arbil, the capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, later on Friday to deliver humanitarian aid, primarily tents and sanitary equipment.

After U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled plans this week for an expanded campaign against ISIL militants, France wants to show that support for Iraq is not limited to military action, one of Hollande's aides said.

At the Paris conference, the French government aims to tackle the ISIL's financing and recruiting as well as improving border controls and training of the Iraqi army.

Last Mod: 12 Eylül 2014, 15:33
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