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France Launches First Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria

France also said that the "Syrian chaos" requires a global response.

France said Sunday it has launched its first airstrikes against ISIS in Syria in coordination with coalition partners.

The French presidency said that the strikes hit targets identified as a result of aerial reconnaissance missions over the past two weeks.

"France has hit Syria," the presidency said in a brief statement. "Our country as such confirms its resolute commitment to fight against the terrorist threat constituted by ISIS."

"We will strike each time our national security is at stake," it added.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls told BFM-TV that the strikes targeted ISIS training centers where militants were being prepared for carrying out attacks in France.

"We are acting in self-defense," Valls said, according to Reuters.

French President Francois Hollande said strike took place against a "camp in a place close to Deir al-Zor in the east of Syria.

"The camp was totally destroyed," Hollande said Sunday after arriving at the United Nations, in New York City.

Hollande said "six jets were used including five Rafale (fighter) jets and they were sure there were no civilian casualties as a consequence of our operation."

Previously, France had only participated in anti-ISIS airstrikes in Iraq and resisted launching them in Syria out of fears they could bolster Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

However, Hollande earlier this month announced the reconnaissance missions — and potential airstrikes — while saying that there was evidence terror attacks against his country had been planned from Syria.

Syria and Assad are expected to feature heavily at the United Nations General Assembly, and the statement from Hollande's office Sunday stressed that the "Syrian chaos" requires a global response.

"Civilians must be protected against all forms of violence" coming from ISIS and other terror groups but also "deadly bombings" by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Sunday's statement said.

"More than ever it is urgent to set up a political transition, which combines elements from the regime and the moderate opposition," it added. "France is committed to this."

Where Did ISIS Come From?

Aug. 27, 201403:11

France's foreign minister Laurent Fabius said Saturday Assad could not play any role in a political transition because this would not be credible to the Syrian people after so many deaths at the hands of his government, according to Reuters.

France was poised to join air strikes on the Assad regime in Syria in 2013, before President Barack Obama unexpectedly backed off the plan.