Francois Hollande
French president Francois Hollande has announced an acceleration in air strikes against IsisStephane De Sakutin/Reuters

François Hollande has announced the acceleration of air strikes against Islamic State (Isis) in Iraq and Syria. In a speech to ambassadors on 21 January, the French president said: "The pace of the interventions will be accelerated and France will play its role in this," AFP reported.

Recent air strikes against IS (Daesh) have included the bombing by the US of a bank in Mosul linked to the terrorist group, with a video released by the Pentagon on 15 January showing the destruction of the building followed by paper, believed to be bank notes, floating above the explosion.

Five people were believed to have been killed in the strike, although it has not been confirmed whether or not they were civilians. The US also stated its intention to continue targeting IS's financial strongholds, in the hope the group will lose its ability to pay fighters and destabilise.

Russia, also committed to air strikes against IS, has carried out more than 5,000, but has been criticised for failing to effectively target the group and is believed to have killed a number of civilians during its attacks, although Moscow has denied these claims.

Meanwhile, UK strikes against IS in Syria, criticised by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and other MPs including seven from across the benches during Parliamentary debate on the topic, began at the beginning of December 2015.