PARIS — France will continue to conduct airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Syria in response to the jihadist movement's deadly attack on Friday, said President François Hollande.
"We will continue these strikes in the coming weeks," Hollande said Monday during an extraordinary parliamentary session of the upper house Senate and lower house National Assembly at the Versailles palace outside the capital.
France will continue its efforts against the IS and called for a "single coalition" effort among allies, Hollande said.
Hollande said he would meet US President Barack Obama and Russian president Vladimir in the next few weeks and seek a cooperation with the US and Russia. The French leader did not say whether he would meet Obama and Putin separately or together.
France will also suspend a reduced cut in defense personnel until 2019 and will strengthen the operational units, cybersecurity and intelligence services, he said.
Hollande was speaking in response to Friday's attack by seven IS extremists who used assault rifles and suicide belt bombs to kill 129 people and left hundreds wounded.
The Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier will leave the Toulon naval base on Thursday and head for the Eastern Mediterranean, a deployment which will triple the French aerial capabilities, he said.
"There will be no respite, no truce," he said.
Hollande thanked the US forces which "helpfully provided cooperation" on two airstrikes he had authorized on Sunday night, missions which saw 10 fighters drop 20 bombs and destroy an IS command center and training base at Raqqa, Syria.
"I congratulate the French fighter pilots who succeeded in the mission," he said.
French President Francois Hollande and members of Parliament sing the French national anthem during a Nov. 16 joint gathering of Parliament in Versailles.
Photo Credit: Stephane De Sakutin/AFP
French media reported the US services had previously withheld data from the French forces but the Friday killings had led to the release of the sensitive intelligence which helped prepare the airstrikes.
The French Navy will fly 24 fighters off the Charles de Gaulle carrier, adding to the 12 fighter-bombers based in Jordan and United Arab Emirates.
Friday's bloodletting in a concert hall and restaurants has spurred the government to suspend an announced cut in defense staff.
The government announced in January a paring of the reduction in personnel as a response to the killing of journalists on the satirical paper Charlie Hebdo and civilians by radical fundamentalists.
Hollande said 5,000 new staff will be employed for the police and paramilitary gendarmes and seek a boost in the ranks of the army reserve.
These measures will lead to increased spending, but there is a new priority, Hollande said.
"Security is more important than a stability budget," he said.
France is under pressure from the European Union to cut its budget deficit under the EU stability and growth pact.
A minute's silence was held at midday today across the country, and the flags are flying at half mast.