French President Francois Hollande says his country will conduct airstrikes in Syria to fight the Islamic State group.

France made its first reconnaissance flights over Syria last week in order to plan a potential air operation.

Hollande confirmed that airstrikes "will be necessary in Syria," in a news conference on Monday in Paris. He didn't say when the operation will start.

Until now, France has only conducted airstrikes in Iraq as a member of the U.S.-led coalition, fearing that hitting at IS in Syria would ultimately help the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.