World

France fires first airstrikes on extremists in Syria, president's office says

  • FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2015 file photo, France’s President Francois Hollande visits a public center for insertion of the Defense (EPIDE) in Montry, France. France has fired its first airstrikes in Syria as it expands military operations against Islamic State extremists, President Francois Hollande's office announced Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015. The office said that "France has hit Syria" based on information from French reconnaissance flights sent earlier this month. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon/Pool, File)

    FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2015 file photo, France‚Äôs President Francois Hollande visits a public center for insertion of the Defense (EPIDE) in Montry, France. France has fired its first airstrikes in Syria as it expands military operations against Islamic State extremists, President Francois Hollande's office announced Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015. The office said that "France has hit Syria" based on information from French reconnaissance flights sent earlier this month. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon/Pool, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, March 18, 2015 file photo, a French military plane lands on the French navy aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in the Persian Gulf. France has fired its first airstrikes in Syria as it expands military operations against Islamic State extremists, President Francois Hollande's office announced Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015. The office said that "France has hit Syria" based on information from French reconnaissance flights sent earlier this month. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)

    FILE - In this Wednesday, March 18, 2015 file photo, a French military plane lands on the French navy aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in the Persian Gulf. France has fired its first airstrikes in Syria as it expands military operations against Islamic State extremists, President Francois Hollande's office announced Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015. The office said that "France has hit Syria" based on information from French reconnaissance flights sent earlier this month. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • File-This March 6, 2014, file photo shows French President Francois Hollande gesturing  while speaking during a media conference after an EU summit in Brussels.  France has fired its first airstrikes in Syria as it expands military operations against Islamic State extremists. Hollande's office announced Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, that "France has hit Syria" based on information from French reconnaissance flights sent earlier this month. He didn't provide any further details. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

    File-This March 6, 2014, file photo shows French President Francois Hollande gesturing while speaking during a media conference after an EU summit in Brussels. France has fired its first airstrikes in Syria as it expands military operations against Islamic State extremists. Hollande's office announced Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, that "France has hit Syria" based on information from French reconnaissance flights sent earlier this month. He didn't provide any further details. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)  (The Associated Press)

France has fired its first airstrikes in Syria as it expands military operations against Islamic State extremists.

President Francois Hollande's office announced Sunday that "France has hit Syria" based on information from French reconnaissance flights sent earlier this month. He didn't provide any further details.

France has been firing airstrikes on IS extremists in Iraq as part of the U.S.-led coalition since last year, but had resisted airstrikes in Syria because it didn't want to strengthen President Bashar Assad. Hollande announced a change in strategy earlier this month because of growing concern about the Syrian refugee crisis.

The president's office argued Sunday that it was a question of national defense, as France has been attacked and threatened by extremists claiming ties to IS.