France will not carry out military action against Islamic State militants in Syria, but will soon begin air strikes to support Iraqi and Kurdish forces in Iraq, President Francois Hollande said on Thursday.

“I have decided to respond positively to the Iraqi authorities to provide air support,” Hollande told a news conference. “We will not go beyond that. There will not be ground troops and we will only intervene in Iraq.”

France has previously signaled it would carry out air strikes in Iraq and send special forces to the country to help direct them and to train armed forces. It is already providing arms to the Kurdish forces in the north of the country. […]