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The U.S. military carried out two more airstrikes against ISIS militants overnight Wednesday and during the day Thursday, the U.S. Central Command (CENTOM) said — one southeast of Mosul, the other southeast of Baghdad. A senior defense official told NBC News one of the targets near Mosul was a large ISIS ground unit which held approximately 40 ISIS fighters. CENTCOM has carried out a total of 176 airstrikes across Iraq.
Meanwhile, France has agreed to carry out airstrikes requested by Iraq to boost its fight against ISIS militants, President Francois Hollande announced Thursday. Hollande said France would not go beyond airstrikes in aid of Iraqi military forces or Kurdish Peshmerga forces, and would not strike targets in Syria, where the Islamic State terror group has also captured territory. He said he would inform the parliament of the planned military action "as soon as the first strikes — that is to say, soon."
In testimony during a House Foreign Affairs hearing on ISIS, Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. welcomes the public announcement. "That's one of the countries that we have been counting in our list," Kerry said.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.