France's Hollande In Iraq To Review War On IS: AFP
Muhammad Rameez 4 years ago Mon 02nd January 2017 | 10:20 AM
BAGHDAD, Jan 2, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 02nd Jan, 2017 ) - French President Francois Hollande arrived in Baghdad Monday to meet the French forces helping Iraq in the fight against the Islamic State group and to hold talks with top officials.
Hollande had already visited in 2014 and remains the most prominent head of state to come to Iraq since the launch two and half years ago of a US-led coalition against the jihadists. The French president, who is travelling with Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, will also stop in the autonomous northern region of Kurdistan during his one-day visit.
France is the second contributor to the US-led coalition that has carried out thousands of air strikes against IS in Iraq and Syria and provided military equipment, training and advice to Iraqi forces.
Since it joined the United States in the coalition in September 2014, French aircraft have conducted 5,700 sorties, around 1,000 strikes and destroyed more than 1,700 targets, according to defence ministry figures.
France has 14 Rafale fighter jets that are stationed in Jordan and the United Arab Emirates and taking part in coalition operations. It also has 500 soldiers training and advising elite Iraqi forces and CAESAR artillery vehicles stationed south of Mosul to provide support for ongoing operations to retake the city.