November 18, 2016 / 5:20 PM / 3 years ago

France asks coalition to launch offensive to surround Raqqa: government spokesman

PARIS (Reuters) - France has asked a U.S.-led coalition to launch an offensive to surround the Islamic State’s Syrian bastion of Raqqa in order to prevent movements of jihadists between Mosul and Raqqa, French government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said on Friday.

“There is no offensive yet, but forces are deployed there in a bid to surround Raqqa and to avoid a possible movement of jihadists between Mosul and Raqqa,” Le Foll said, following a ministerial meeting.

“This is a strategic target, which is being put in place,” he added.

Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau; Writing by Maya Nikolaeva; editing by Michel Rose

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