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US promises France more support against IS as airstrikes continue

French President Francois Hollande (L) welcomes U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, November 17, 2015.
French President Francois Hollande (L) welcomes U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, November 17, 2015. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

For the second time in 24 hours, French warplanes have struck Islamic State positions in the Syrian city Raqqa, the Defence ministry said on Tuesday. The fresh airstrikes--which come in the wake of Friday's attacks by Islamist militants-were reportedly conducted in coordination with U.S. forces. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry is in Paris, in solidarity.

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Paris climate talks will not be interrupted by "despicable, and cowardly acts of terror," US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday after a meeting with French President  François Hollande.

Kerry's visit comes four days after the worst attacks on French soil by Islamic militants, which left at least 132 dead and over 300 injured.

The attacks have cast doubt on France's ability to host more than 200 world leaders in two weeks' time at the Paris climate conference, which poses an enormous security challenge.

"I am confident that Paris which knows how to rebound will do so," continued John Kerry, urging the global community not to interrupt its agenda because of terrorism.

The US Secretary of State has however pledged to bolster his cooperation with France to enable it to counter the terrror threat, notably in the realm of intelligence sharing.

"We will drastically increase our bilateral cooperation to defeat Islamic State," he said.

Kerry added that their joint efforts were already yielding results after fresh airstrikes on IS reportedly destroyed a command center and a training base used by the militant group.

"Our pressure on the Islamic State is working, they're losing ground, we're not," Kerry insisted.

Meanwhile, French President François Hollande is slated to visit the US next week for talks with Barack Obama, and he is also likely to meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Calls are growing for one, clear coalition in Syria to better defeat Islamic State. Currently the US and Western allies are competing with Russia and Arab states.

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