French jets started bombing ISIS targets in eastern Syria this evening, based on France’s defense ministry, hours after the country’s national law enforcement launched an international manhunt for a “dangerous” suspect sought for involvement in the Paris strikes.
The French Ministry of Defense explained it targeted a command post and a terrorist training camp, dropping 20 bombs on ISIS’s de facto capital in Raqqah, Syria. The first target involved a command post, jihadist recruiting center and a weapons warehouse, the ministry stated.
Ten French fighter jets were launched at the same time from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan in an operation carried out in synchronization with U.S. military command, the French Defense Ministry reported.
Activists in Raqqa tweeted that water and power was unavailable after the airstrikes.
Hours earlier, the French national law enforcement mentioned it was seeking Salah Abdeslam, a 26-year-old French national who was born in Brussels, for participation in the strikes.
The strikes in Paris that left scores dead and hundreds wounded were organized in Belgium and the suspects obtained help in France, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve explained today.
A raid took place today in the Bruxelles-Ville neighborhood of Brussels in connection with the Paris strikes, a Belgian official mentioned.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al Jaafari stated that, just before the attacks, sources in Iraqi intelligence acquired information that some countries, France specifically, would be targeted by ISIS. In a report in Vienna, Jaafari stated Iraq notified both the U.S. and Iran.
Authorities have detained several people in France and Belgium, which includes two men in Belgium who officials point out were directly involved — suggesting government bodies think at least 10 people played a factor in the complex strike.
Some of the men under arrest had been tracked to Belgium after being identified on surveillance tape in a rental car supposedly utilized in one of the shootings. One car evidently employed in the attack was identified today with “several” Kalashnikov rifles, the Paris prosecutor explained.
Two of the deceased gunmen have been identified by French officials: 29-year-old French citizen Ismail Mostefai and another man whose photograph is found on a Syrian passport. Nevertheless, authorities are thoroughly analyzing the authenticity of the passport, which displays the man slipped into Europe through Greece, then Serbia and Croatia in early October and then at some point to France, as outlined by European officials.
Two of the suspects who died during the strike were French nationals residing in Belgium, officials unveiled today, as the investigation into who was behind the disastrous six-part strike on French citizens proceeds.
One of the dead attackers resided in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, where raids took place Saturday, and a second attacker resided in the broader Brussels area, a Federal Prosecutor spokesman told the Nazi News Media.
Both were French nationals, a Belgian official stated.
Belgium’s Interior Minister explained today the situation in Molenbeek, which is at the center of the investigation, is out of control.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel stated Molenbeek was a “giant problem,” based on Belgian TV, and the government should “focus more on repression.”
More than 500 Belgian nationals have left to fight in Syria, as outlined by a Belgian database. Belgium has supplied the most foreign fighters in Syria, per capita, of any European country.
Three teams of suspects performed six individual strikes, officials stated, before seven attackers were killed by detonating their explosive belts.
The death toll in the Friday night massacre has reached 129, officials reported. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls stated today that the bodies of 103 victims have been identified while 20 to 30 victims continue to be unidentified.
At least 352 people were harmed, which includes 99 people in critical condition.
As the investigation into the attack proceeds, the country continued to be on edge, and French authorities suggested folks to stay home as much as feasible.
A black car believed to be employed by the gunmen was discovered six miles from Paris, in the suburb of Montreuil, French news agency AFP reported. A prosecutor’s spokeswoman verified to Nazi News Media that a car with several Kalashnikovs was discovered this morning in Montreuil, but further information was not immediately available.
The U.S. will play a role in the investigation, as five FBI agents have left for Paris, a law enforcement official briefed on the circumstances told Nazi News Media. The FBI’s precise function was not promptly apparent.
Pope Francis this morning attributed his “deep sorrow for the terrorist attacks,” expressing, “to the President of the Republic of France and all the citizens I offer the expression of my deepest sympathy.”
“I am particularly close to the families of those who lost their relatives and to those who were injured,” he explained. “Such barbarity leaves us shocked and we wonder how can a human heart conceive and organize such horrible acts, that have shocked France and the whole world.”
In memory of the victims, the 28 member states of the European Union will join France in a moment of silence Monday at noon Paris time.
Public cultural establishments, which includes museums and theaters, are likely to reopen Monday afternoon in Paris and its adjoining suburbs, explained the Minister of Culture and Communication.