France to begin anti-ISIS air missions in Syria

France to begin air missions battling ISIS in Syria, French president said

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

French President Francois Hollande attends his news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, September 7, 2015.

France will begin reconnaissance missions over Syria on Tuesday, battling ISIS militants in the war torn country.

French President Francois Hollande is considering launching air strikes against ISIS in Syria, however only surveillance airborne aid will be provided, he said on Monday.

In a presidential press conference held in Paris, Hollande discussed the Syrian war, and the refugee crises.

"We have proof that attacks have been planned from Syria against several countries, notably France," Hollande stated in a news conference.

France was originally on course to join air strikes against the Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad in 2013, before US President Barack Obama unexpectedly scrapped the plan.

"My responsibility is to ensure that we are informed as much as possible on the threats to our country ... so I have asked the defence minister that from tomorrow reconnaissance flights begin over Syria that will enable us to consider air strikes against Islamic State [ISIS]," Hollande added.

Members of the French Government listen as President Francois Hollande attends his news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, September 7, 2015.

Hollande added that ISIS somehow “cemented its position in Syria over the last two years” and now its time for Paris to know exactly what is happening on Syrian soil.

The French president ruled out the possibility of sending French ground troops to Syria, saying it’s on Syrians and regional states to do the work on the ground.

Hollande confirmed that Paris believes the only solution for the Syrian crises is a “political transition” that would see Assad leave power "at some point or another."

"Assad is responsible for the situation in Syria. He fired on his people, he bombed civilians. He used chemical weapons and refused to talk to opponents," Hollande said.

"The solution cannot go through keeping Assad at the helm of Syria. How can a Syrian who has seen his family massacred accept to go back to the table with Assad? A solution must be found with the regime, the state, but in the end Assad must go."

The four yeal long Syrian civil war started in March 2011, killed over 240,000 people, and displaced millions internally and externally, in neighbouring countries including Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.

TRTWorld and agencies