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US, France to intensify cooperation against ISIL: Pentagon


The defense ministers of the United States and France have agreed on “concrete steps” to intensify cooperation against the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group following the Paris terrorist attacks, the US Defense Department says.

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and French Defense Minister Jean-Yves le Drian discussed over the telephone on Sunday the actions they are taking in response to Friday’s terrorist attacks that killed scores of people in France’s capital city, the Pentagon said.

“They agreed on concrete steps the US and French militaries should take to further intensify our close cooperation in prosecuting a sustained campaign against ISIL,” Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said in a statement Monday.

“Secretary Carter reiterated the firm commitment of the United States to support France and move together to ensure ISIL is dealt a lasting defeat,” he said.

The statement provided no details on the measures to be taken.

At least 129 people were killed and over 350 others were injured in Paris on Friday night, in the deadliest attacks to hit the country since the Second World War.

ISIL claimed responsibility for the attacks, which French President Francois Hollande described as “an act of war.”

France has been conducting airstrikes against Daesh positions in Iraq and Syria since 2014 as part of a US-led coalition.

The massacre in Paris came a day after the US Justice Department warned of the potential for random ISIL-inspired attacks on American soil.

“ISIL and its followers continue to use social media in an attempt to incite violence around the world, including in the United States,” US Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said in a statement on Thursday.

US President Barack Obama vowed on Sunday to intensify efforts to wipe out Daesh even as he faces criticism for backing militant networks in Syria.

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