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​France strikes Islamic State in Syria

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​France strikes Islamic State in Syria again after Paris attacks

France carried out fresh air strikes on Islamic State bases in northern Syria on Tuesday as police made 128 overnight raids across France in the hunt for accomplices to Friday's Paris attacks claimed by the Islamist group.

French warplanes targeted a command center and a recruitment center for jihadists in the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa in the second consecutive night of strikes ordered by President Francois Hollande, a military command spokesman told Reuters.

The strike involved 10 fighter jets launched from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. French defense officials said the United States had stepped up intelligence sharing, enabling Paris to identify more specific targets.

At home, police conducted 128 raids overnight following the wave of shootings and suicide bombings at restaurants, a concert hall and a sports stadium around Paris which killed at least 129 people, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.

He told France Info radio police were making rapid progress in their investigation into the attacks but declined to give details.

One top suspect, Belgian-born Frenchman Salah Abdeslam, 26, remains at large after escaping back to Belgium early on Saturday and eluding a police dragnet in the Brussels neighborhood of Molenbeek, where he lived with his two brothers.

Hollande has declared a state of emergency allowing administrative arrests and searches without a warrant following the bloodiest attacks in French history.

The president was due to meet visiting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday morning to press his call for the United States and Russia to join in a grand global coalition to fight Islamic State in Syria.

"France is at war," Hollande told a solemn joint session of parliament at the Palace of Versailles on Monday, promising to increase funds for national security and strengthen anti-terrorism laws in response to the attacks.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Hollande would travel to Washington and Moscow next week to press his case for a single alliance to combat Islamic State instead of the current situation where Russia is supporting the forces of President Bashar al-Assad in conjunction with Iran, while the United States and France are in a coalition with Sunni Arab states opposed to Assad.

Valls said Paris would spare no expense to reinforce and equip its security forces and law enforcement agencies to fight terrorism, even though that was bound to involve breaching European budget deficit limits.

"They will necessarily be exceeded, because the resources we are giving the security services will not come from other budgets. We have to face up to this, and Europe ought to understand," he told France Inter radio.--REUTERS 

we stand with paris

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