French warplanes have hit the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group’s Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, as world leaders pledged to renew their fight against the armed group, which claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks which killed at least 129 people. In its first air strikes against ISIL since the Paris attacks, 12 warplanes, including 10 fighter bombers, dropped 20 bombs on the targets on Sunday night, the French defence ministry said.
“The first target destroyed was used by Daesh [ISIL] as a command post, jihadist recruitment centre and arms and munitions depot. The second held a terrorist training camp,” a ministry statement said. The planes left from Jordan and the UAE and the strikes were conducted in coordination with US forces, the ministry said.
Writing on Twitter, the anti-ISIL activist group Raqqa is Being Silently Slaughtered said air strikes had also hit a stadium, a museum, clinics, a hospital, a chicken farm and a local governmental building. Water and electricity were cut across the city as a result of the raids, the group said, adding that at least 30 air strikes had been carried out. The group said no civilian casualties had been immediately reported.
Earlier on Sunday, leaders of the world’s 20 major economies (G20) pledged a renewed fight against ISIL , but offered little details on how the strategy would change. Although the G20 usually focuses on economic issues, the president of host country Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, urged world leaders to prioritise the battle against ISIL, saying Friday’s assaults in Paris proved that the time for words was now over.