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France Launches Airstrikes Against Islamic State Stronghold in Syria

PARIS—France launched extensive airstrikes against Islamic State’s stronghold in Syria on Sunday evening, responding with the force vowed by the government when it blamed the Paris terrorist attacks on the extremist group.

The airstrikes delivered 20 bombs to two targets in Raqqa, in northern Syria, a French defense official said. The bombs targeted a command center, including an arms depot and a recruiting post, and a training camp, the official said.

The 12 aircraft involved in the strikes flew from both Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, said another French official.

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the decision to attack the Raqqa targets was made Saturday. That was one day after coordinated terrorist attacks left at least 129 dead and more than 300 wounded in Paris.

“France has always said that because she has been threatened and attacked by Daesh, it would be normal that she would react in the framework of self-defense. That’s what we did today with the strikes on Raqqa,”...