By Fox News Producer Lucas Tomlinson
The U.S. military shared targeting data with the French military about ISIS targets inside its de-facto headquarters of Raqqa, Syria over the weekend and has pledged to broaden cooperation with the French government going forward a senior defense official tells Fox News.
“We started [Saturday] night, a couple of big targets that the French had been wanting to hit. The coalition gave them 100% support. Also we will continue with a combination of coalition targets and specific French requested targets for the foreseeable future. Also we are continuing with our oil revenue targets, under Operation Tidal Wave II. We are having good results,” according to a U.S. military source.
Operation Tidal Wave II was announced Friday in a Pentagon briefing as a means to attack ISIS oil infrastructure in eastern Syria. The original Operation Tidal Wave was a U.S. operation against Nazi oil infrastructure in World War II.
When asked how much help the U.S. gave the French military, a separate U.S. official answered, “a lot.”
“The targets had been in the works and we accelerated the strikes due to great interest from the French after the attacks [Friday night],” said the U.S. official.
The French Ministry of Defense said 10 of its Rafale fighter jets dropped 20 bombs on strategic targets inside Raqqa.
The French strikes were launched from bases in the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, according to a statement from the French military.
This week, the French aircraftcarrier Charles de Gaulle is expected to depart midweek from Toulon and sail to the Persian Gulf to begin strikes against ISIS.
In Norfolk, the USS Harry S. Truman strike group which includes, USS Anzio, a guided-missile cruisier and a number of destroyers and other escort ships will get underway later today, part of a previously scheduled deployment to the Middle East.
The French airstrikes against ISS Sunday were quickly planned to avenge the 129 people killed in Paris Friday night.
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter spoke to his French counterpart, Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian twice over the weekend pledging to “further intensify our close cooperation” against ISIS, according to statements from the Pentagon.
On the same day of the French airstrikes, the U.S. military destroyed 116 ISIS fuel trucks Sunday in Abu Kamal, Syria in the Euphrates River basin near the Syrian-Iraq border, according to the latest strike report from the U.S. Central Command released Monday.
A military official with knowledge of the strikes said that recently arrived U.S. Air Force A-10 Warthogs from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey carried out the strikes on the fuel farm.
The official said previously the fuel trucks were off limits to U.S. military strike aircraft. When asked if the Paris attacks would bring about a change in the U.S. military’s rules of engagement, the official said that the truck drivers were warned first before the bombs fell.
“We dropped leaflets, warning the drivers to scatter,” said an official who had been briefed on the strike. “Next we strafed the area [with 30mm cannons] before the dropping bombs” from the warthogs.
The official said separately F-15E Strike Eagles, which arrived to Incirlik late last week participated in their first strikes against the Islamic State over the weekend separate from the attack against the fuel farm.
Over the weekend, the U.S. military sent another shipment of small arms ammunition to the Syrian Arab Coalition, driven to them from Erbil, in Kurdish Iraq.