French kill 
IS fighters 
in four 
air strikes

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Four French air strikes have killed dozens of fighters from the “Islamic State” group in a contested area of northern Iraq.

French president Francois Hollande said Rafale fighter jets struck a logistics depot in north eastern Iraq and the target was “entirely destroyed”.

The air strikes were France’s first in Iraq after Mr Hollande agreed to bolster Iraq’s fight against IS fighters

The US has also carried out air strikes against the extremist group, which has murdered two Americans as well as hostage David Haines, who was born in Holderness, East Yorkshire. It is also threatening to kill British aid worker Alan Henning.

On Thursday they released a propaganda video apparently featuring another British hostage, believed to be newspaper journalist John Cantlie.

An Iraq military spokesman said four French air strikes hit the town of Zumar, killing dozens of extremist fighters.

Zumar and surrounding towns have remained heavily contested by IS fighters, even though Iraqi and Kurdish security forces have managed to make headway in nearby regions with the support of US air strikes.

Several thousand Syrians, most of them Kurds fleeing militants from IS, have crossed into Turkey. The refugees are escaping an ongoing offensive by the militants that aims to overrun a Kurdish-controlled area near the Turkish border known as Kobani.

Backed by tanks and artillery, the Islamic State fighters have already captured more than 20 villages in the area over the past 48 hours alone, sending civilians streaming towards the frontier.

Meanwhile, a Senate vote to authorise arming and training Syrian rebels shows the world Americans are united in combating IS militants, President Barack Obama said.

Mr Obama said US air strikes against IS targets would continue, but US troops would not have a combat role on the ground in Iraq or Syria.

The president spoke at the White House shortly after the Senate approved his plan for training and equipping Syrian rebels.

Anti-Islamic adverts will begin appearing on a hundred New York City buses and at two subway entrances next week.

The six ads include an image of American journalist James Foley, just before he was beheaded, standing next to his masked executioner. The ads are paid for by the American Freedom Defence Initiative run by anti-Islam blogger Pamela Geller.