Senior Staff Writer
President Francois Hollande announced on Thursday that France would support Iraq’s requests for air support and that France would join the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State militants in Iraq.
On Friday, the office of President Hollande said that French military jets launched their first air strikes on an Islamic State target in northeast Iraq.
President Hollande said that “the target was a logistical depot that was used for operations” by the Islamic State and “other operations will follow in the coming days.”
France is the first of the United States’ coalition allies to begin air strikes against the Islamic State. President Hollande, who has committed France to military interventions in Mali and Central Africa in the past, said that there will be no French troops fighting on the ground.
In Scotland’s national referendum on Thursday, voters chose to remain part of the United Kingdom. The “no” bloc received 55.3 percent of the vote, while those seeking independence received 44.7 percent of the vote.
The referendum yielded a voter turnout of 84.5 percent, with about 1.6 million voting ‘yes’ and just over two million voting ‘no.’ It is a historic high for any election in the United Kingdom since universal suffrage was instituted in 1918.
Scottish nationalist leader Alex Salmond said in his concession speech that 1.6 million votes cast for separation showed the desire among Scots for a greater share of decision-making powers in Scotland.
In response to the referendum, British Prime Minister David Cameron said, “The people of Scotland have spoken and it is a clear result … it would have broken my heart to see our United Kingdom come to an end.”
A three-day curfew began on Friday in an effort to help 30,000 health workers who are going house-to-house find and isolate cases of Ebola in Sierra Leone.
Health workers are distributing bars of soap and information on preventing infection. They are also collecting infected dead bodies, which are especially contagious.
Government officials have said that the workers will not enter the homes, but will instead mark an infected household with a sticker after they have visited it and proceed to contact Sierra Leone’s emergency services.
Many people have been hesitant to seek medical treatment for Ebola out of fear that a diagnosis might mean death. Presently, there is no proven cure.
Sierra Leone is one of the countries worst affected by the West Africa’s recent Ebola outbreak, with more than 550 victims among the 2,600 so far recorded.