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FRANCE - JORDAN - IRAQ

French jets due in Jordan to help fight against IS group

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls visits pilots from the French Air Forces close to Mirage 2000D (back) at the 101 Air-base in Niamey on 23 November 2014.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls visits pilots from the French Air Forces close to Mirage 2000D (back) at the 101 Air-base in Niamey on 23 November 2014. AFP PHOTO/MIGUEL MEDINA

French fighter jets are due to arrive in Jordan soon to join operations against the Islamic State group in Iraq, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Sunday.

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"The show of strength is continuing with the arrival of Mirage planes in the coming days," Valls said during a visit to the Niger capital Niamey, adding that men and equipment were already in place in Jordan.

Earlier in the morning, he had said the jets were already in Amman, the capital of Jordan.

"Every day, everywhere in the world, our military demonstrates its capacities in the service of France," the prime minister said in a speech at a French airbase in Niamey, where his visit was devoted to the fight against terrorism in the Sahel region.

France operates drone surveillance missions in the region from the Niamey base.

There are already nine French Rafale fighter jets in the United Arab Emirates and Valls said the aim was to have a total of six Mirages in Jordan by the end of the year.

Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had announced Wednesday the planned deployment of the six Mirage 2000-Ds to Jordan. This neighbouring country to Iraq will make it easier for the coalition to intervene in the fight.

“Successes (on the field against IS) are only made possible because of the air support by the coalition and France plays a major role in this coalition,” Le Drian had said Wednesday.
 

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