France will send reconnaissance flights over Syria beginning Tuesday to help plan airstrikes in the fight against the Islamic State group, the president said, saying it was a responsibility to fight against the "terrorism and war" that have left Europe vulnerable to attack.
President Francois Hollande, however, ruled out ground operations in Iraq and Syria in the wide-ranging news conference on Monday.
Hollande said coping with the flow of refugees also requires addressing the problem of terrorism and the reconnaissance flights will help inform airstrikes against the Islamic State group.
"We have proof that attacks against several countries, notably ours, are being planned," he said. "Today in Syria what we hope to learn, is what is being planned against us and what is happening to the Syrian population."
The United States is carrying out airstrikes in Syria and Iraq, but France had limited its planes to Iraqi airspace until now.