"That is why — together with our coalition partners — we must focus our efforts on Aleppo, with two clear objectives: strengthening our support for the moderate Syrian opposition, and protecting the civilian population from the twin crimes of the regime and Daesh," Fabius added.
French aircraft are taking part in the U.S.-led aerial campaign against the Islamic State militants in Iraq, but Paris opted out of the coalition mission in Syria.
The Islamic State group overran much of northern and western Iraq in June, adding to the large chunk of northern and eastern Syria it already controlled. It has continued its push to try to consolidate its hold on that territory, including around Iraq’s largest oil refinery outside the town of Beiji.
Associated Press footage on Tuesday showed Iraqi special forces attacking some Islamic State group positions near Beiji. The soldiers opened fire on a white building used by militants. Thick black smoke could be seen rising from the building.
Besieged Iraqi troops have managed to maintain control of the refinery outside Beiji, some 155 miles north of Baghdad, despite numerous attempts by the Islamic State group to capture it.