French Jets Bomb ISIS Targets in Syria After Police Launch Manhunt for ‘Dangerous’ Suspect

ABC News

French jets began bombing ISIS targets in eastern Syria tonight, according to France’s defense ministry, hours after the country’s national police launched an international manhunt for a “dangerous” suspect wanted for involvement in the Paris attacks.

The French Ministry of Defense said it targeted a command post and a terrorist training camp, dropping 20 bombs on ISIS’s de facto capital in Raqqa, Syria. The first target included a command post, jihadist recruiting center and a weapons warehouse, the ministry said.  

Ten French fighter jets were launched simultaneously from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan in an operation carried out in coordination with U.S. military command, the French Defense Ministry said.

Activists in Raqqa tweeted that water and power was cut off after the airstrikes.

Hours earlier, the French national police said it was seeking Salah Abdeslam, a 26-year-old French national who was born in Brussels, for involvement in the attacks.

The attacks in Paris that left scores dead and hundreds injured were prepared in Belgium and the suspects received help in France, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said today.

A raid took place today in the Bruxelles-Ville neighborhood of Brussels in connection with the Paris attacks, a Belgian official said.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al Jaafari said that, prior to the attacks, sources in Iraqi intelligence obtained information that some countries, France in particular, would be targeted by ISIS. In a statement in Vienna, Jaafari said Iraq notified both the U.S. and Iran.

Police have detained several people in France and Belgium, including two men in Belgium who officials say were directly involved –- indicating authorities believe at least 10 people played a role in the complex assault.

Some of the men under arrest had been tracked to Belgium after being spotted on surveillance tape in a rental car purportedly used in one of the shootings. One car apparently used in the attack was discovered today with “several” Kalashnikov rifles, the Paris prosecutor said.

Two of the deceased gunmen have been identified by French officials: 29-year-old French citizen Ismail Mostefai and another man whose photo appears on a Syrian passport. However, authorities are carefully examining the authenticity of the passport, which shows the man slipped into Europe through Greece, then Serbia and Croatia in early October and then eventually to France, according to European officials.

Two of the suspects who died during the attack were French nationals living in Belgium, officials revealed today, as the investigation into who was behind the devastating six-part attack on French citizens continues.

One of the dead attackers lived in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, where raids took place Saturday, and a second attacker lived in the broader Brussels area, a Federal Prosecutor spokesman told ABC News.

Both were French nationals, a Belgian official said.

Belgium’s Interior Minister said today the situation in Molenbeek, which is at the center of the investigation, is out of control.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said Molenbeek was a “giant problem,” according to Belgian TV, and the government should “focus more on repression.”

More than 500 Belgian nationals have left to fight in Syria, according to a Belgian database. Belgium has provided the most foreign fighters in Syria, per capita, of any European country.

PHOTO: A French police officer patrols the Sacre Coeur basilica in Paris on Nov. 15, 2015.Kamil Zihnioglu/AP Photo
A French police officer patrols the Sacre Coeur basilica in Paris on Nov. 15, 2015.

Three teams of suspects carried out six separate attacks, officials said, before seven attackers were killed by detonating their explosive belts.

The death toll in the Friday night massacre has reached 129, officials said. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said today that the bodies of 103 victims have been identified while 20 to 30 victims remain unidentified.

At least 352 people were injured, including 99 people in critical condition.

As the investigation into the attack continues, the country remained on edge, and French police advised people to stay home as much as possible.

A black car suspected to be used by the gunmen was found six miles from Paris, in the suburb of Montreuil, French news agency AFP reported. A prosecutor’s spokeswoman confirmed to ABC News that a car with several Kalashnikovs was found this morning in Montreuil, but further details were not immediately available.

The U.S. will contribute to the investigation, as five FBI agents have left for Paris, a law enforcement official briefed on the situation told ABC News. The FBI’s specific role was not immediately clear.

Pope Francis this morning expressed his “deep sorrow for the terrorist attacks,” saying, “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 said. “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 minute of silence Monday at noon Paris time.

Public cultural establishments, including museums and theaters, are expected to reopen Monday afternoon in Paris and its surrounding suburbs, said the Minister of Culture and Communication.

3 thoughts on “French Jets Bomb ISIS Targets in Syria After Police Launch Manhunt for ‘Dangerous’ Suspect

  1. And these jets just happened to MYSTERIOUSLY be in the region and ready to go on such short notice… RRRIIIIGGGGHHTTTT. These lies are getting just too damned obvious.

  2. Let’s see now, who benefits from the Paris Terror attack? If ISIS is us (Western, Israeli controlled), France ain’t on the same page? Just musing. Maybe they didn’t get the memo.

  3. Not long now til isis is found in every corner of syria where the ousting of Assad is going to become ” a must to ensure security and the demise of isis”. Then WW3. Get ready folks.

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