[Photo] Rafale multi-role combat planes conduct first French air strike in Iraq

The French Air Force has conducted the first air strike on a terrorist target in Iraq.

Two Rafales, one C-135FR Tanker were involved in a 7-hour mission from Al Dhafra to Iraq (1,700 kilometers) to destroy an ISIS  target in northern Iraq on Sept. 19.

Four GBU-12 LGB (Laser-Guided Bombs) were dropped by the two multi-role planes to hit a munition and fuel depot near the town of Zumar.

BDA French Air Strike

The target was obviously destroyed during this first (symbolic) mission that marked the beginning of the involvement of the French tactical planes in the air strikes against ISIS militants. Until today, the Rafale had been involved in reconnaissance missions.

Rafale first raid

In 2011, a French air strike conducted by a package which included Rafale jets opened the Libya Air War.

Rafale first strike

Image credit: French MoD


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.