Mutiple media outlets, including Reuters and CNN, are reporting that France has responded to the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris by bombing Raqqa, Syria on Sunday (Nov. 15). The country dropped 20 bombs on the city using a dozen aircraft. The city is symbolically and strategically significant because it is the self-proclaimed capital of the so-called Islamic State or ISIL, which claimed responsibility for the attacks that killed at least 130 people.
As the BBC reported earlier this month, France has been recently deploying its only aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, to the Persian Gulf in order to more quickly carry out airstrikes in ISIL territory. Sky News correspondent Sam Kiley told the network that Sunday’s strikes aren’t the hot-blooded response they appear to be:
“The coalition has a number of targets of opportunity, targets provided by intelligence.
“The scale of these French airstrikes should not be seen as a wanton act of revenge, but really the French basically saying to their allies, ‘we want to do all of the airstrikes’ over the next period of time—however long that may be.”
He added: “I think essentially what’s gone on here is the coalition have said ‘this is your turn to hit back as France rather than as the coalition’.
“But I don’t think this should be seen as some kind of carpet-bombing campaign.”
Follow Quartz’s coverage of the Paris attacks here.