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Sunday, November 15

Breaking News: France with US help bombs the hell out of Raqqa UPDATED 5:45 PM, 6:30 PM, 12:45 AM Nov 16

UPDATE 12:45 AM EST, November 16

From the (U.K.) Telegraph 'live blogging' Nov 15 about 13/11 issues:
Isil says no one killed in strikes
Islamic State has reportedly said no one was killed by the joint French and US airstrikes on Raqqa. It said the targets hit were "abandoned sites". It is not possible to verify the claim.
We'll have to wait and see. But it would make sense that they abandoned at least their most important sites, such as the command center, after the French air strikes on October 8 and the Russian strikes.

See the New York Times report I featured last night for details on the French rationale for the October 8 strikes.


From Washington Post report on the French air raid on Raqqa filed at 5:42 PM:
Oposition activists reached in Raqqa said they counted at least 30 bombs, which they said hit, among other things, a local football stadium, a museum and medical facilities. They said the strikes had knocked out electricity in the city of about 200,000 people.
The reported strike on medical facilities contradicts an earlier report that no hospitals were hit (see AP report, below) although a medical facility isn't necessarily a hospital. 

To return to the WaPo report (note that it does not mention what the AP report does: that the US was holding onto key intelligence about Islamic State sites in Raqqa that it had shared only with other 'Five Eyes' governments, until it charitably shared the intel with France after the 13/11 attack on Paris):     
A French statement said the operation, launched from bases in the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, was conducted in coordination with the U.S. military command, which has compiled an extensive target list in Raqqa. U.S. officials, speaking at the G20 summit here that President Obama is attending, said the French operation was discussed between the two militaries, as well as in telephone calls Saturday and Sunday between Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and his French counterpart.

In Iraq on Sunday, foreign minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said Iraqi intelligence had obtained information earlier that the Islamic State was planning an imminent terrorist attack overseas that may have been targeting “in particular” France, the United States and Iran.
“We notified these countries and warned them,” Jaafari said in a statement. The statement did not include specifics of when the Iraqis acquired the information. U.S. intelligence officials did not confirm the report.
Administration officials said the United States would not alter its strategy against the Islamic State in response to the Paris attacks, despite evidence that the terrorist group was expanding its ability to hit Western targets. In recent weeks, Obama has approved escalation of airstrikes in both Syria and Iraq, and authorized deployment of 50 Special Operations troops to assist Syrian Kurdish and Arab forces pushing toward Raqqa.
The [Paris] attacks prompted Hollande to declare France would lead a “merciless” fight against the Islamic state, a move that could increase pressure on the Obama administration to take stronger actions to ensure that the Islamic State cannot attack the United States directly.

AP video report at AOL mentions that to help the French air raid on Raqqa the U.S. shared intelligence with French that it normally only shares with the "Five Eyes" (Anglo) governments. That's a damning statement, when you think about it. Moving along, AP text accompanying the video features a Tweet claiming that according to Raqqa-area hospitals, no civilians have been wounded or killed by airstrikes to date. That would include Russian strikes, whatever ones the Syria force carried out, and American strikes. 


AFP reported (in French) the air raids first at their Twitter page. 

Breaking news, CNN (very brief report)
French air force conducting major bombardment against ISIS targets in Raqqa, Syria, the French Ministry of Defense says. ...
In one hour alone Sunday there were at least 20 airstrikes on the city, according to both a pro-ISIS news agency and the activist group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently.
Breaking News, RT -- more info at this moment than CNN report, probably because RT editors can read French: 
France has carried out a massive airstrike on an Islamic State stronghold in Raqqa, Syria. It struck dozen’s of targets including a command and control center, training camp and munitions warehouse, the country’s defense ministry announced.
Ten French fighter jets took part in the country’s biggest air raid in Syria, the statement from the defense ministry read.
The strike, coordinated with the United States, was carried out simultaneously from Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, according to Reuters.
“The first target destroyed was used by Daesh (a derogatory Arabic acronym for IS) as a command post, jihadist recruitment center and arms and munitions depot. The second held a terrorist training camp,” a ministry statement said, adding that in total some 30 targets were struck in the raid. 
Report includes AFP Tweet.

"This isn't carpet bombing [like the Americans] these are extremely precise strikes carried out after exhaustive legal processes..."


If anyone needs help call my attorney first. Full immunity before I lift a finger.

What, you think you bring an attorney to the table and any sane person does anything before their attorney protects them? Quite serious.


Heh. Just published an update to the post:

"From the (U.K.) Telegraph 'live blogging' today of 13/11 issues:
Isil says no one killed in strikes
Islamic State has reportedly said no one was killed by the joint French and US airstrikes on Raqqa. It said the targets hit were "abandoned sites". It is not possible to verify the claim."

See the post for additional info, such as it is.

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