Paris, July 18 (IANS) French troops on Monday bombed new Islamic State (IS) targets in Iraq and Syria as a response to the July 14 Nice attacks that killed 84 people, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.
Le Drian said the new incursion against the jihadi group occurred on Sunday evening, EFE news reported.
“Our forces continue to strike, like the day before yesterday (Saturday) and last night (Sunday night), to contribute, within the coalition, to eradicate this cancer,” he said.
The announcement came at the end of the third security council to occur in four days in France, and coincided with the final day of national mourning for the attack by Tunisian national Lahouaiej Bouhelel in Nice when he rammed into crowds gathered to watch the fireworks on the occassion of Bastille Day. The carnage also injured over 300 others.
The minister said he was convinced that the French army’s anti-terrorist Sentinelle mission, which has 10,000 troops guarding the national territory, meets its function of “protecting and dissuading”.
He also assured that the government was fully mobilised to guarantee French security.
“We need to continue advancing in the implacable fight we are waging against the IS at home and abroad,” he said.
On July 16, the IS claimed responsibility for the attack.
Judicial investigations have not yet been able to connect the attacker with any terrorist networks, though eight people have been arrested, two of which have subsequently been released, including Bouhlel’s ex-wife.