France strikes IS in Syria, criticises Russia
France said Friday it had carried out a second wave of strikes overnight on Islamic State targets in Syria and accused Russia of failing to target the group.
"Two Rafale jets dropped bombs on an IS training camp. The objectives were accomplished," Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told Europe 1 radio, adding that more attacks would follow.
As with a first wave of strikes on 27 September, the attacks focused on the IS stronghold of Raqqa in northern Syria.
"We know that in Syria, in particular around Raqqa, there are training camps for foreign combattants whose mission is not to go fight for IS in the Levant but to come to France, to Europe, to carry out attacks," said Le Drian.
He said France's airstrikes were complicated by the fact that IS uses human shields.
"IS organises itself in such a way that children, women and civilians are in the frontline," he said.
"The leaders hide in schools, mosques, hospitals, which makes the job of the [international] coalition difficult."
Le Drian criticised Russia's recent involvement in the conflict, saying that "80 to 90 percent" of its airstrikes in Syria were not aimed at IS, but instead at propping up the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, Moscow's long-term ally.
"The Russian military action in Syria over the past 10 days does not target Daesh, their main aim is [to ensure] the security of Bashar al-Assad," said Le Drian.
"We do not consider Bashar part of the solution."