France, US to scale up strikes on ISIS in Syria, Iraq; stand united against terrorism

US President Barack Obama (right)  greets French President Francois Hollande during a joint news conference on Tuesday.
US President Barack Obama (right) greets French President Francois Hollande during a joint news conference on Tuesday.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday that France and the United States would scale up strikes on ISIS in Syria, Iraq, after a meeting at the White House with US President Barack Obama.

But he said France will not put troops on the ground in Syria, even as he called for stepped-up strikes and coordination against ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria).

"France will not intervene militarily on the ground," Hollande said at a White House news conference with Obama.

Hollande would not provide a date for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's transition from power but said it must be "as soon as possible".

Obama opened the hour-long joint press conference held at the White House by vowing that the United States and France will stand united to fight ISIS militants and terrorism following the recent attacks in Paris.

"As Americans, we stand by our friends in good times and in bad, no matter what," Obama said at a news conference with French President Francois Hollande at the White House.

"The United States and France stand united, in total solidarity, to deliver justice to these terrorists ... and to defend our nations," Obama said, adding that ISIS and its ideology "pose a serious threat to all of us".