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France may station fighter jets in Jordan to strike IS

Shia militia fighters combating IS in Iraq
Shia militia fighters combating IS in Iraq ReutersYoussef Boudlal/Files

France may station up to six Mirage fighter jets in Jordan to carry out air strikes on the Islamic State (IS) armed group in Iraq, officials said on Thursday. Amman said that it knows nothing of the French plan.

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The French military central command is considering stationing between three and six Mirages in Jordan, military chief of staff spokesperson Gilles Jaron told the Reuters news agency on Thursday.

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Basing the planes there would save money and time, he said, but the idea is just at the study stage and has yet to be discussed with the Jordanian government.

Jordanian officials told Reuters that they had no knowledge of the plan.

France has 700 troops committed to Operation Chammal, which is supporting Iraqi troops in the fight against IS with air strikes but no ground troops.

Nine Rafale fighters, a refuelling aircraft and a maritime patrol plane are currently stationed at the French base of al-Dhafra in the United Arab Emirates and an anti-aircraft frigate is in the Persian Gulf.

France is not carrying out air strikes in against IS in Syria, leaving that task to the US.

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