ISIS: France to send 6 Mirage fighter jets to Jordan

'1,000 French jihadists', Valls; Le Pen cites 4,000

19 November, 19:31

    (ANSAmed) - PARIS, NOVEMBER 19 - France will send six Mirage fighter jets to Jordan to strike Islamic State positions fighters in Iraq, Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday. The jets will be reinforcing the nine Rafale ones in the UAE. Earlier in the day, French media had reported the French decision to bolster the anti-ISIS coalition's ability to conduct air strikes against ISIS and to support Iraqi national army and Kurdish Peshmerga forces from overhead. France has meanwhile conducted more air strikes on ISIS positions. The French defense ministry has announced that French Rafale had acted to break a siege on the Iraqi city of Kirkuk last night. Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that ''over a thousand'' French nationals were involved in ISIS jihadism, and that ''close to 50'' had been killed in Syria. ''Sadly,'' he added ''we are not surprised to learn that French citizens or residents of France are found at the heart of these cells and taking part in this barbarity.'' National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen instead said that about 4,000 of French nationals had left for 'jihad', citing unconfirmed figures. ''According to the French intelligence services, there are about 4,000 French citizens that have left to wage jihad. Not 1,000 - 4,000,'' Le Pen said in an interview with Sud Radio. As for those that do not have dual nationality, ''there might be some,'' Le Pen said, ''but there are a marginal number compared with the data received by the intelligence and anti-terrorism services.'' In Le Pen's view, ''of these 4,000, the vast majority have dual nationality. This is why we can take their nationality away from them, and at least not see them in our country.'' As for the others, ''if they come back, then no problem.

    There will be life in prison'' for them. Paris prosecutor Francois Molins estimated that about 1,132 French nationals are in jihadist ranks in Syria, while 367 operate in both Iraq and Syria.

    According to a recent study, typical jihadists are young and mostly from immigrant families though 20% are converts to Islam. (ANSAmed).

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