France bombs ISIS camp

November 16, 2015
AP French President Francois Hollande

PARIS (AP)

France launched 'massive' air strikes on the Islamic State group's de-facto capital in Syria last night, destroying a jihadi training camp and a munitions dump in the city of Raqqa, where Iraqi intelligence officials say the attacks on Paris were planned.

Twelve aircrafts, including 10 fighter jets, dropped 20 bombs in the biggest air strikes since France extended its bombing campaign against the extremist group to Syria in September, a Defence Ministry statement said.

The jets were launched from sites in Jordan and the Persian Gulf, in coordination with US forces.

Meanwhile, as police announced seven arrests and hunted for more members of the sleeper cell that carried out the Paris attacks that killed 129 people, French officials revealed key suspects had been stopped and released after the attack.

The arrest warrant for Salah Abdeslam, a 26-year-old born in Brussels, calls him very dangerous and warns people not to intervene if they see him.

Yet police had him in their grasp early Saturday, when they stopped a car carrying three men near the Belgian border.

By then, hours had passed since authorities identified Abdeslam as the renter of a Volkswagen Polo that carried hostage takers to the Paris theatre where so many died.

 

Tantalising clues

 

Tantalising clues about the extent of the plot have emerged from Baghdad, where senior Iraqi officials said France and other countries had been warned last Thursday of an imminent attack.

An Iraqi intelligence dispatch warned that Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had ordered his followers to immediately launch gun and bomb attacks and take hostages inside the countries of the coalition fighting them in Iraq and Syria.

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