France says Syria operation hits 3 sites

France’s defense minister says its joint military operation with the U.S. and Britain against Syria targeted three sites and that Russia was informed ahead of time. Defense Minister Florence Parly told reporters Saturday that the French military sent fighter jets from multiple bases in France and used missile-equipped frigates in the Mediterranean in the operation. Rafale fighter jets could be seen on a video posted overnight by the French presidential palace on Twitter. She said strikes targeted the “main research center” for the Syrian chemical weapons program and “two important production sites.” She added that “with our allies, we ensured that the Russians were warned ahead of time.” Syria’s ally Russia has denounced the western military action. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the operation did not target Syria’s allies or civilians but President Bashar Assad’s government because of its alleged use of chemical weapons. Syria’s government denies using them.