France to aid U.S. in Iraq air strikes
The announcement was made hours before U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver a speech about his strategy in Iraq. (AFP/File)
The French government announced Wednesday it is prepared to join a U.S.-led coalition to launch airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq.
Defeating IS -- also known as ISIL and referred to by Fabius as "Daesh butchers" -- is only possible by defeating them both in Iraq and Syria, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Wednesday during a speech at the Sciences Po in Paris.
The announcement was made hours before U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver a prime time address at 9:00 p.m. EDT to unveil his strategy "to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL."
Hollande is scheduled to travel to Iraq on Friday, where he will meet with Iraqi leaders regarding counterterrorism efforts, civilian protection and rule of law.
On September 16, France will host an International Conference on Peace and Security in Iraq. The event, the French Embassy in London noted, "will bring together those international and regional partners who adhere to this aim and help make it a reality."