Syria war: France to prepare for IS air strikes



President Francois Hollande has ordered preparations to begin for air strikes on Islamic State militants in Syria.

He said France would start reconnaissance flights on Tuesday with a view to launching attacks on the group.

Speaking at his bi-annual news conference in Paris, Mr Hollande ruled out sending troops on the ground.

The UN says more than 220,000 people have been killed and more than nine million displaced in the war in Syria.

Mr Hollande said terror attacks had been planned from Syria against several countries, including France.

“My responsibility is to ensure that we are informed as much as possible on the threats to our country,” he said.

“So I have asked the defence minister that from tomorrow reconnaissance flights begin over Syria that will enable us to consider air strikes against Islamic State.”

IS militants have made significant gains on the ground in Syria as one of the groups in the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, and have also been fighting other rebels.

They have also captured large areas of territory in Iraq.