France's Rafales Are The First Non-U.S. Planes To Draw Blood Over Iraq

Yesterday, France become the first country other than the US to attack ISIS targets in Iraq. Their Rafales carried out a raid on munitions depot and staging area in the northeast part of the country that supposedly killed dozens of ISIS fighters.

This comes after France pledged last week that it would support the anti-ISIS campaign with material and surveillance flights.

A pair of Rafales, apparently based out of Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE, armed with four GBU-12 500lb laser guided bombs, were used on the raid. In addition, French KC-135Rs tankers and Atlantique II maritime surveillance and attack aircraft (yes they can carry bombs and missiles and were used in Mali to attack targets) also appear to be part of the French contingent to this as yet to be named international operation.


According to French President Francois Hollande:

The target was entirely destroyed... Other operations will follow in the coming days.

This will be the first time France has flown fighters over Iraq for well over a decade and a half, as they were not part of George W. Bush's 'Coalition Of The Willing' that took part in the 2003 invasion and the almost decade long (and should have been much longer) chaotic stabilization efforts that followed.

Source: Janes, USA Today

Tyler Rogoway is a defense journalist and photographer who maintains the website Foxtrot Alpha for You can reach Tyler with story ideas or direct comments regarding this or any other defense topic via the email address

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Ah, the french. Partly responsible for the mess in Libya and Syria, now having to help clean the mess.

Their troops should be the first on the ground, should push come to shove.