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French Rafale in the Middle East Support Iraqi Forces

May 13, 2019

This report originally published at centcom.mil.

This April 4th, French fighters of the air base on the Middle East supported Iraqis in their fight against Daesh.

French Rafale are engaged on a daily basis for the Coalition, in Iraq as in Syria for operation Inherent Resolve (OIR). Flying days and nights, Rafale’s pilots totally contribute to reduce the military Daesh potential and to support the ground troops against the terrorist group through oversight and information missions, but also with air strikes.

So, this April 4th, an air strike enabled the destruction of Daesh tunnels in Iraq. In coordination with the Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) and Iraqi security forces, two Rafale received the authorization to engage targets after an extremely rigorous targeting and identification process.

Not less than five flight hours and three refuelings were needed for these two aircrafts to achieve this air strike and reach the Daesh military target.

“Close air support” is usually the main mission of Rafale which are based in the air base on the Middle East. It could be seen as ground troops support air strike if the situation requires it.

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On the other hand, this airstrike, is the result of another kind of action from the various military possibility available to the coalition, because it was realized during a mission conducted on a planned target. This illustrates flexibility of capacities, especially from the air base in the Middle East, to fight against the resurgence of Daesh.

U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) reports are created independently of American Military News (AMN) and are distributed by AMN in accordance with applicable guidelines and copyright guidance. Use of CENTCOM and U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) reports do not imply endorsement of AMN. AMN is a privately owned media company and has no affiliation with CENTCOM and the DOD.