Hollande pledges artillery to fight IS in Iraq following attack in Nice

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President Francois Hollande has said France will send artillery equipment to Iraq to aid the fight against “Islamic State” militants. The move has come after IS claimed responsibility for a deadly truck attack in Nice.

France will supply heavy weaponry to Iraq to support its fight against the extremist “Islamic State” (IS) group following the deadly Bastille Day attack in Nice, French President Francois Hollande said on Friday.

The artillery “will be in place next month,” Hollande told reporters after an emergency security meeting in Paris.

The pledged weapons are part of France’s efforts to increase its role in the US-led fight against IS. France has already been conducting airstrikes against IS and providing military training. However, Hollande ruled out the option of sending in ground troops.

This is the fourth such defense council meeting since last week’s deadly attack in which a Tunisian driver drove through a crowd in Nice gathered for Bastille Day fireworks.

The attack killed 84 people and 12 people are still in critical condition. IS later claimed responsibility for the attack, but investigators have yet to find evidence suggesting the attacker – who was shot dead at the scene – was ever in direct contact with the group.

French Prosecutor Francois Molins said on Thursday that the attacker had help from five suspects in police custody and planned the attack for months.

rs/se (AP, Reuters)

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