France presidency hopeful Fillon visits Iraq Sunday

Francois Fillon

Baghdad ( French, rightest presidency runner Francois Fillon is paying a visit to Iraq next Sunday coming from Beirut, London-based Alhayat newspaper reported Wednesday.

Fillon will arrive to Baghdad coming from Beirut, which he visits first on Friday before returning to Paris on Sunday.

France is a member of the U.S.-led international coalition to counter Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. It contributes to the campaign against IS in Iraq with 14 Rafale fighter jets based in Jordan and the UAE. There are also 500 artillery troops backing Iraqi forces with four Caesar Howitzers south of Mosul.

French military personnel are also providing advice and training to Iraqi, as well as Kurdish, troopers without directly getting involved in combat.

Incumbent president Francois Hollande visited Iraq on January 2nd to check on his country’s troops and to discuss progress in the war against Islamic State.

France’s presidential polls are slated between April and May 2017.

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