France may join US-led coalition against ISIS in Syria

French President to address France’s potential participation in US-led coalition air strikes on ISIS in Syria during press conference on Monday, reports French media

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A F/A-18E/F Super Hornets of Strike Fighter Attack Squadron 211 (VFA-211) lands on the flight deck of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) aircraft carrier in the Gulf June 18, 2015.

The French newspaper, Le Monde Daily said on Saturday, that France is considering to join the US-led coalition air strikes against ISIS in Syria.

The French President Francois Hollande, is expected to address the issue during a press conference on Monday, which he generally holds twice a year.

The French Defence Ministry did not comment on the report, neither did the French Presidency or the Foreign Ministry.

Paris participates in aerial operations against ISIS only in Iraq, after demands by the Iraqi government for international intervention against ISIS. France had refused to conduct air strikes against ISIS’ bastions in Syria.

"Hollande is considering striking IS [ISIS ] in Syria," Le Monde's headline wrote on Friday.

"The accelerating exodus of Syrian (refugees), the failure of the coalition to push IS [ISIS] back and the possible reinforcement of Russian military presence (in Syria) are challenging the French position," reported Le Monde.

A French official told AFP on Saturday that, France will not be involved in the US-led coalition.

"Our line hasn't changed, and there's no question of joining the coalition in Syria," he told AFP on condition of anonymity.

However, officials told AFP, Paris may renounce its pledge of not to intervene militarily in Syria "for reasons of national security" saying it would be done "completely independently".

ISIS has targeted France several times this year, however, French officials say their main goal is to find a political solution for the conflict in Syria. 

On Friday the coalition launched 25 air strikes in Iraq and eight in Syria targeting ISIS.

The Combined Joint Task Force said in a statement on Saturday that, in Iraq, the air strikes were centered near 12 cities, including Mosul, Ramadi, Baiji, Tuz and Sinjar, causing huge destruction in the buildings used by ISIS and also around 50 ISIS positions.

The statement said, in Syria, six strikes hit near Mar'a and others hit Raqqa and Tal Abyad.

According to the The Sunday Times newspaper, British Prime Minister David Cameron, wanted to hold a vote in parliament in early October, to join the coalition air strikes on ISIS in Syria.

The US Department of Defence said on its website, as of Aug. 15, 2015, the total cost of operations related to ISIS since operations started is $3.7 billion.

TRTWorld and agencies