France bombs

France bombs Islamic State HQ hunts attacker who got away

France bombs Islamic State HQ hunts attacker who got away

PARIS (AP) — France initiated “massive” air strikes on the Islamic State group’s de-facto capital in Syria Sunday night, destroying a jihadi training camp and a weapons dump in the city of Raqqa, where Iraqi intelligence officials say the attacks on Paris were intended.

Twelve aircraft including ten fighter jets dropped a total of 20 bombs in the major air strikes since France extended its bombing campaign against the terrorist group in Syria in September, a Defense Ministry statement said. The jets launched from sites in Jordan and the Persian Gulf, in coordination with U.S. forces.

On the sidelines of the G20 summit in Turkey on Sunday, France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said his country was justified in taking action in Syria.

“It was normal to take the initiative and action and France had the legitimacy to do so. We did it already in the past; we have conducted new airstrikes in Raqqa today, Fabius said. “One cannot be attacked harshly, and you know the drama that is happening in Paris, without being present and active.”

In the meantime, as police declared seven arrests and hunted for more members of the sleeper cell that carried out the Paris attacks that killed 129 people, French officials revealed to The Associated Press that several key suspects had been stopped and released by police after the attack.

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