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September 25, 2014

UK air strikes to go legal as France intensifies action in Iraq

The UK Parliament is set to authorise airstrikes against the Islamic State (IS) targets in Iraq, at a meeting today.

Rafale

The UK Parliament is set to authorise airstrikes against the Islamic State (IS) targets in Iraq, at a meeting today.

A summary of the UK Government’s legal position on military action in Iraq said the consent of Iraq in these terms "provides a clear and unequivocal legal basis for the deployment of UK forces and military assets to take military action to strike ISIL sites and military strongholds in Iraq."

MP votes to support strikes in Iraq will be sought today.

However, the prime minister’s office has clearly ruled out the deployment of UK ground troops in Iraq and the country’s involvement against IS in Syria.

Meanwhile, France has carried out a latest round of airstrikes on the Islamic State (IS) targets in Iraq.

The French Rafale fighters launched laser-guided missiles at four IS hangars that were housing military equipment near Fallujah, located west Baghdad, as reported by Reuters.

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The raids are the first since French Rafales bombed IS targets in Iraq on 19 September, and comes a day after an Algerian terrorist group beheaded a French national in retaliation for the country’s military action against IS in Iraq.

"The prime minister’s office has clearly ruled out the deployment of UK ground troops in Iraq and the country’s involvement against IS in Syria."

On 24 September, the Jund al-Khalifah group released a video showing the execution of 55-year old French mountaineer Herve Gourdel, who was abducted from Algeria’s Djurdjura National Park over the weekend.

France has deployed six Rafale fighters and nearly 1,000 soldiers to a military base in the UAE, to aid the US in the fight against IS fighters, Agence-France Presse reported.

Having initially insisted that the airstrikes would be limited to Iraq, Paris has now hinted that it might extend the air campaign to Syria.

In addition to this, French President Francois Hollande confirmed that the country would expand its efforts to counter the terrorist group at the recent UN General Assembly meeting in New York, the US.

A French presidency statement said: "In the framework of the coalition, France will continue to support Iraqi authorities … it will also reinforce support to the Syrian opposition currently fighting the jihadi groups."


Image: France has deployed six Rafale fighters for fight against Islamic State militants. Photo: courtesy of Joey Quan.

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