French lawmakers extend military action against ISIS militants

PARIS (AFP) - French lawmakers on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved continuing air strikes against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants in Iraq as part of a US-led coalition.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls urged Parliament to extend the operation saying "our mission is not over... we are faced with a war against terrorism".

While the vote is routine, required to extend any French military intervention after four months, it comes as the country is in mourning after being struck on home soil in a series of Islamic extremist attacks that left 17 dead last week.

France joined the coalition in September and has carried out a handful of strikes on the militants but has not joined the United States in its air war against the ISIS group in Syria.

President Francois Hollande said in December the country's action had "allowed indisputable progress and military and therefore political success."

Lawmakers agreed to extend the operation 488 for, one against and with 13 abstentions, with political consensus reinforced after the attacks first on satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo then on a Jewish supermarket in Paris.

A policewoman was also separately gunned down by one of the attackers.

The vote in the Senate later on Tuesday was 327 in favour, with 19 senators either abstaining or absent.

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