France became the first country to join the United States in launching airstrikes against Islamic State targets. In a statement released by President Francois Hollande's office on Friday, it was announced that France had destroyed an ISIS "logistics depot."
This morning at 9:40, our Rafale planes carried out a first strike against a logistics depot of the terrorist organisation Daesh in north-east Iraq. The objective was hit and completely destroyed."
(Daesh, in case you're wondering, is the name France is now using to refer to the Islamic State; it comes from the Arabic acronym for ISIS.)
The French offensive comes a day after Hollande outlined his strategy to confront ISIS, which needless to say, made the United States very happy.
US welcomes French President Hollande's decision to conduct strikes on ISIL targets in Iraq— Ben Rhodes (@rhodes44) September 18, 2014
Following the announced airstrikes, Hollande promised more action: "Other operations will follow in the coming days." France has committed to airstrikes in Iraq, but says it will not strike at Islamic State targets within Syria.
Critics were quick to point out that Hollande's muscular initiative to battle ISIS comes as the French premier battles a record low approval rating of just 13 percent amid zero growth this year and double-digit unemployment. Hollande has said he will finish out his term, which ends in 2017, despite the fact he is now poised to lose a hypothetical head-to-head match against far-right leader Marine Le Pen.
Hollande, as it stands, could go down as the ineffectual President who killed the Fifth Republic and handed its remains to Marine Le Pen.— Liam Hoare (@lahoare) September 18, 2014
Hollande made the case for French involvement against ISIS on the grounds that the group has been allowed to flourish by international inaction and that, well, do really terrible things. He also pointed to the group's effectiveness in recruiting fighters from France.
JUST IN: French President Hollande says ISIS has attracted 1,000 of its fighters from France— Vaughn Sterling (@vplus) September 18, 2014