PARIS/BEIRUT (Reuters) – French fighter jets struck targets in Iraq on Thursday and the United States and its allies stepped up air raids in Syria against Islamic State militants who have taken over large areas of both countries.
France’s strikes were its first since Sept. 19 when Paris joined the United States military action against Islamic State in Iraq and followed the beheading of a French tourist, reported late on Wednesday, in Algeria in retaliation.
PARIS (Reuters) – France on Thursday opened the door to possibly joining air strikes in Syria just hours after an Algerian Islamist group beheaded a French tourist in retaliation for Paris’ military action against Islamic State militants in Iraq.
France has repeatedly ruled out taking part in air action in Syria where Islamic State has its power base. It fears that strikes against militants there would leave a void that only Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces could fill, making it difficult for “moderate” rebels to counter the more organized Syrian army.
PARIS/TOULOUSE (Reuters) – Three men suspected of joining Islamist militants in Syria gave themselves in to French authorities on Wednesday after a day of high confusion which exposed security shortcomings in France, including poor collaboration with NATO ally Turkey.
Officials wrongly claimed on Tuesday the three French nationals – who include the brother-in-law of a gunman who killed seven people in France in 2012 – had already been arrested before admitting they were still at large.
PARIS, Sept 23 (Reuters) – High confusion surrounded the
fate of three men suspected of joining militants in Syria, after
a plan to detain them on their return to France on Tuesday
collapsed because security forces waited for them at the wrong
Lawyers for the men, who include the brother-in-law of a
gunman who killed seven people in France in 2012, said on
Tuesday evening they were in France and still free.
PARIS (Reuters) – Three Frenchmen, including the brother-in-law of a Toulouse-based al Qaeda-inspired gunman who killed seven people in 2012, were arrested on Monday at a Paris airport suspected of having joined Islamic militants in Syria, a French official said.
Around 150 militants who fought with rebel groups in Syria and Iraq have returned to France, requiring “massive” resources for surveillance and other security measures to prevent attacks.
AIT OUABANE Algeria/PARIS (Reuters) – Algerian military and police set up checkpoints and sent troops into mountains east of Algiers on Tuesday to look for a Frenchman kidnapped by militants who threatened to execute him over France’s intervention in Iraq.
The Caliphate Soldiers, a splinter group linked to Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, on Monday published a video claiming responsibility for the abduction and showed a man identifying himself as Herve Gourdel, a tourist from Nice.
PARIS/ALGIERS (Reuters) – A French national was kidnapped in eastern Algeria on Sunday, France’s foreign ministry said, and his kidnappers issued a video threatening to kill him if Paris did not halt its intervention in Iraq.
The Caliphate Soldiers, a group linked to Islamic State militants, published a video on the Internet soon after the French ministry’s announcement on Monday, claiming responsibility for the kidnapping and showing a man who identified himself as Herve Gourdel, 55, from Nice in southern France.
On a warm evening at Arbil International Airport in Iraqi Kurdistan some 150 mostly Christian refugees anxiously waited to flee their homeland aboard a French government plane.
PARIS, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) on
Thursday criticised the delay in repatriating a foreign health
worker infected with Ebola in Africa after it took two days to
fly out the infected French volunteer from Liberia.
A specially adapted aircraft was due in Monrovia on Thursday
from the United States to take the female healthcare worker home
to France after she was diagnosed with the deadly disease.
PARIS/MONROVIA (Reuters) – A French volunteer working for Medecins Sans Frontieres in Liberia has contracted Ebola, the medical charity said on Wednesday, adding that seven local staff members have already fallen ill from the deadly virus.
The volunteer, the first French national and MSF’s first international staff member to catch the disease in the outbreak, was put in quarantine on Tuesday when early symptoms of the illness appeared, according to an MSF statement.