France Considers Air Strikes on ISIL in Syria

France Considers Air Strikes on ISIL in Syria

France is considering conducting air strikes on the so-called 'Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant' (ISIL) in Syria, joining an international coalition led by the United States, Le Monde newspaper said on its website on Saturday, quoting an unnamed "high level source".

France is considering conducting air strikes on the so-called 'Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant' (ISIL) in Syria, joining an international coalition led by the United States, Le Monde newspaper said on its website on Saturday, quoting an unnamed "high level source".

Government officials declined to comment on the report, saying President Francois Hollande would express his views on the matter at a news conference on Monday.

France was the first country to join the US-led coalition carrying out air strikes on ISIL in Iraq, but had ruled out doing so in Syria, fearing that would benefit President Bashar al-Assad. It has supplied arms to what it considers the so-called "moderate rebels" fighting the national Syrian army.

But Europe's refugee crisis, largely caused by vast numbers of people fleeing the civil war in Syria, the failure to push back ISIL and a rising presence of Russia in the region may prompt a change in policy, Le Monde reported, saying Hollande discussed the issue with his defense team at a meeting on Friday.

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