French air strikes in Syria likely killed French jihadists
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French air strikes on Friday probably killed French jihadists training in a Syria Islamic State camp according to a source close to Prime Minister Manuel Valls although France’s defence ministry could not yet confirm.
According to the weekly newspaper Journal du Dimanche, “several French citizens” and other francophones were among the hundreds of jihadists targeted by the strikes.
The defence ministry acknowledged on Monday that French citizens and French speakers may have been killed in the camp, which lies five kilometres southwest of Raqa, the town considered to be the headquarters of Islamic State (IS).
“We targeted a training camp where there were foreign IS fighters trained to come and attack us in France”, the ministry said on Sunday.
The strikes on Friday were the second time French jets bombed IS camps.
President François Hollande says France is acting in self-defence amid fears that battle-hardened jihadists could return and launch attacks on French soil.
“Anyone who joins these training camps, anyone who joins IS should know that they can now be attacked”, said Valls on Sunday.