French strikes in Syria target 'camps' not individuals

President Hollande does not confirm recent airstrikes in Syria were aimed at eliminating French national

French strikes in Syria target 'camps' not individuals

World Bulletin / News Desk

The French airstrikes in Syria do not target individuals in particular but "training camps", said French President Francois Hollande on Monday.

France launched its first airstrikes in Syria in late September after several operations against ISIL in Iraq.

"Our strikes are aimed at training camps in Syria. I cannot know who is there. What I know is that in those places ... there are terrorists who are training to fight in Syria but also can plant bombs in our country," Hollande said.

He refused to confirm if the strikes conducted last week were specifically aimed at French national  Benghalem Salim, 35, "responsible for the reception of French and francophones for ISIL," as French daily Le Monde has reported.

The French Defense Ministry announced it had struck, on the night of Oct. 8, a ISIL training camp in Raqqa, which was believed to house "foreign fighters, probably French nationals and francophones". 

The French president repeated that around 600 French nationals were currently fighting in Syria and Iraq.

"We have a duty to neutralize them, to detain them if they return. But we cannot say: we will target a particular terrorist," Hollande added.

French weekly L'Express reported that Benghalem had survived the strikes.

Last Mod: 19 Ekim 2015, 14:57
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