France to extend with four months the airstrike campaign in Iraq

imgFrench lawmakers overwhelmingly approved on Tuesday to expand its participation in the airstrike campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants in Iraq. The extension was for another four months.
The extension, which came under a vote of 488 ballots to 1, with 13 abstentions, was reinforced after the attacks on satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on Jan 7, then later on to a Jewish supermarket in Paris. Three policemen died during the three-day terror rampage.
The lawmaker who made the lone vote out of the extended airstrike, Jean-Pierre Gorges of the center-right UMP party, said the extension could invite more extremist violence. But fellow lawmakers wouldn’t hear his explanation and instead vigorously defended the campaign. One of last week’s killers said the motivation for his acts was France’s military campaign in Iraq.
“France is at war with terrorism, jihadism and radical Islamism,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls told the National Assembly shortly before the vote. “France is not at war with a religion. France is not at war with Islam and Muslims.”
France joined the U.S.-led coalition and immediately carried out airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq after the militants took over sections of the latter as well as in Syria. The country has the largest number of planes and troops in the coalition, next to the U.S

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