The French Air Force’s two Rafale fighter aircraft have performed more than six hours of flight over Syria, marking the country’s first intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) mission.
French President François Hollande said that the country will start reconnaissance flights over Syria, extending involvement in the coalition fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The Reco Ng pods equipped with the fighters allowed them to capture high-definition imagery at high-speed, as well as video surveillance. The mission was supported by a C-135F tanker aircraft.
A statement from the French Air Force stated that the mission allowed them to gather intelligence on the ISIL.
The mission was carried out in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the combined joint task force operation to combat ISIL.
Hollande said the country won’t be sending ground troops to Syria, but will conduct airstrikes depending on intelligence from reconnaissance missions.
The French flights over Syria are integrated into the Air Task Order.
France is currently conducting airstrikes in Iraq against the terrorist group. Launched in 2014, the French military mission named Operation Chammal is carried out against the terrorist group alongside the international coalition.
Operation Chammal involves two major components including an air component and a training component. It also comprises of 700 soldiers.