MOSCOW, September 10 (RIA Novosti) – France will participate in an air military operation against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq, if necessary, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Wednesday as quoted by Reuters.
"In Iraq ... we will take part in military air action if necessary. The situation in Syria is different," Fabius told students in a speech at the Sciences Po academy in Paris.
"Some in the media say France is ready to act in Iraq, but not Syria. No! We must act in both cases, but not with the same modalities,” the French Foreign Minister noted.
The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), is a radical Sunni group that has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, it started launching attacks in northern and western Iraq, declaring a caliphate on the territories under its control later that month.
The group is known for its brutal tactics and harsh interpretation of sharia law. Hundreds of thousands of people, belonging mostly to ethnic and religious minorities, have fled the territories controlled by IS militants, who are accused of multiple acts of execution and rape.
The United Nations has characterized ethnic and religious cleansing, carried out by IS as crimes against humanity.
In August, after Iraq asked the international community for help, the United States started launching air strikes against IS positions in the north of the country. Later on Wednesday, US President Barack Obama is expected to announce his further strategy on defeating IS militants.