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France Releases Video Of Its First Airstrike Against ISIS

Several months ago, when France vehemently opposed canceling the delivery of the Mistral amphibious warship to Russia, its largest bank BNP was "unexpectedly" slapped with a record $9 billion fine by the US Department of Justice for money-laundering. The retaliatory measure was so obvious even Putin opined on the US action: "We know about the pressure which our U.S. partners are applying on France not to supply the Mistrals to Russia,” Putin said in July. “And we even know that they hinted that if the French don’t deliver the Mistrals, they would quietly get rid of the sanctions against the bank, or at least minimize them."

Fast forward a few months later when the French banking lobby has clearly gotten not only the upper hand in its ongoing fight with Hollande's imploding socialist leadership, now facing a record low approval rating, but realizes it once again has all the leverage, not only is the Mistral shipment on the verge of being scrapped, but it is time to make sure that another "BNP" never happens again: after all there are banker bonuses to think of.

As a result, the French administration is scrambling to demonstrate its faithful commitment to whatever warmongering cause the US may unleash on the world, in this case using the ISIS terrorist threat as a pretext to imminently bomb and crush Assad's Syrian regime, just so the Qatar natgas pipeline to Europe - which as a reminder was the underlying reason for the failed 2013 false flag campaign to eradicate Assad - can finally cross the country unopposed, and deliver the much needed alternative to Gazprom's product, eliminating the major leverage Putin has over Europe, which also explains why Russia is suddenly so vocal in its demands that the US halt its bombing of the Syrian regime. Follows a succinct situation summary on the Syrian situation from Al-Arabiya:

Russia was the third country to criticize the U.S. decision to bomb ISIS terrorists on Syrian territory, after the Syrian and Iranian governments. It’s not the best company to keep when opposing Obama’s decision in terms of international prestige and perception, however, it was to be expected.

 

The criticism came both from Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin and from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Alexander Lukashevich.

 

The criticism is based on one key point: without the Syrian government’s agreement and a UNSC mandate, the U.S. strikes in Syria would be a gross violation of international law and should be considered an act of aggression. Moreover, Moscow didn’t pass over in silence the double standard approach of Washington, as while helping Iraq to fight the terrorists on its territory, the U.S. president called for approval for more funding of the so-called armed opposition in Syria. Also, recent revelations by fighters in the pages of the Western press purport that the moderates in Syria are absolutely demoralized, weak and their ranks thinned out as the fighters join ISIS. In light of such reports, it is not clear which party Obama is going assist in this case and how his calls correspond to the real situation on the ground.

 

there are deep concerns that the U.S. will bomb not only ISIS positions in Syria, but also the Syrian government forces. These concerns can be explained by the fact that evidently the strikes against ISIS could play into hands of Damascus and this doesn’t correspond with the U.S. interests. Taking into account that during all these years of the Syrian war the U.S. could have been trying to realize its plans to bomb Syria, they could take advantage of this situation.

 

If the U.S. bombs the positions of government forces, by mistake or with malicious intent, this would have doubly unpredictable consequences, both at the international and regional levels.

 

For sure, this will trigger a new crisis with Russia. The crisis of credibility in bilateral relations will reach the highest point. Russia will ultimately respond to the possible aggression. But how? It’s a big question with a difficult to predict answer. Moreover, possible strikes against Damascus’ forces will blow up the remains of credibility of international law, international systems and institutions. After the meeting over Iraq in Paris on Monday, Russia’s foreign minister stressed that the international community should build common action “on a solid foundation of the United Nations Charter and U.N. counter-terrorist instrument and mechanisms.”  The call to respect the U.N. Charter is clear and logical, however its solidness, as well as that of the U.N. system in general, is already in doubt. Any further violations of international law and U.N. principles will definitely be the last straw, leading to international chaos.

But back to France, which in order to do prove its undying commitment to the US, moments ago the French Defense Ministry took a page right out of the Pentagon/CNN playbook, and released footage of French warplanes striking targets belonging to the Islamic State after taking off from an airbase.  Paris announced earlier this week it was taking part in military air strikes against the militant group in Iraq.

The video shows a pilot inspecting his aircraft, a French Rafale, before takeoff. The footage also shows several craft being refueled in mid-flight as well as infrared shots of the targets being bombed.

The statement released by the French Defense Ministry:

During the flight lasting about five hours, the two Rafales were refueled three times by the tanker aircraft C135-FR.

 

The French jets, delivered strikes between 9:40 and 9:58 with four laser-guided bombs GBU 12.

 

The maritime patrol aircraft Atlantique 2 conducted a ten-hour mission, coordinated with that of Rafale. Its sensors ensured the intelligence portion of the mission and performed a battle damage assessment (BDA) immediately transmitted to central planning headquarters in Paris.

 

During this mission, the recovery staff component, that is to say the ability to rescue pilots in hostile area, was insured by American military means.

 

In accordance with the will of the President of the Republic, new strikes will take place in the coming days to support the Iraqi armed forces in their fight against ISIS. These strikes will again be carried out in close coordination with the Iraqi as well as with our allies

And just like that, no more French banks will be sanctioned by the DOJ for as long as France understands just where its allegiances should lie.