France to send heavy weapons to fight ISIS in Iraq following attack in Nice

French President Francois Hollande makes a statement at the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris on July 22, 2016.
French President Francois Hollande makes a statement at the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris on July 22, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (BLOOMBERG, AFP) -  President Francois Hollande said on Friday (July 22) France will loan artillery to Iraq to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and move the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier to the region.

Speaking in Paris after a defence council meeting, Hollande pledged to act “firmly” against terrorists without losing sight of the country’s democratic ideals.

“We need national unity and cohesion in the face of terrorists,” Hollande said. “To dodge the constitution would be to lose the fight against terrorism.”

Hollande said France would supply heavy weapons to Iraqi forces as soon as next month and that there were no plans to deploy troops on the ground there and in Syria.

France has said it would ramp up efforts to fight ISIS after an attack in the Riviera city of Nice that killed 84 people last week.

The artillery weapons "will be in place next month," Hollande told reporters after a meeting of the defence council.