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France: Mosul operation essential to prevent new IS attacks

This photo taken on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016 and released on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016 by the French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD) shows a French army Rafale fighter jet taking off from an undisclosed military air base. Seven French Rafale jets, from the Air Force and the Navy, carried out airstrikes south of Mosul overnight Oct. 15-16 with SCALP missiles that destroyed a factory making IEDs (improvised explosive devices). (ECPAD via AP)
October 18, 2016 - 9:33 AM

PARIS - France's defence minister says the battle for the Iraqi city of Mosul could last months but is "essential" to preventing new Islamic State attacks.

Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters Tuesday that IS extremists plotted the group's recent attacks against France from their strongholds of Mosul and the Syrian city of Raqqa, "and they are fomenting other possible attacks. So we need to strike at the heart."

He continued, "It's not a Blitzkrieg . It's a city of a million and a half inhabitants, so this is an affair that will last a long time."

French warplanes and artillery are active as part of the U.S.-led coalition supporting the Iraqi military campaign to take back Mosul. French airstrikes Sunday destroyed a factory making improvised explosive devices.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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