France said Thursday that it will follow the United States in launching air strikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq, as the jihadists posted their latest video of a Western hostage.

But unlike in previous grisly postings by IS in which they beheaded two American journalists and a British aid worker, British photojournalist John Cantlie was only shown speaking to camera in the style of a news report.

The French move came as Washington was set to approve plans to train and arm Syrian rebels in the fight against IS, which has gained more ground in recent days.

President Francois Hollande underlined that there would be no French air strikes against IS targets in Syria like those that his US counterpart Barack Obama authorised last week.

“I decided to respond to the request of the Iraqi authorities to offer aerial support,” Hollande told reporters.

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