French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Wednesday that France was prepared to take part in air strikes on Islamic extremists in Iraq "if necessary," according to AFP.
"In Iraq... we support the formation of an inclusive government. We will participate if necessary in an aerial military action," Fabius said in a speech in Paris.
Last week, French President Francois Hollande had raised the possibility of a "political, humanitarian and if necessary military response in accordance with international law" to fight against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).
Fabius urged an international alliance to fight the dangers posed by IS "which could reach our own soil," he said, adding, "Several hundred French jihadists are present in Iraq and Syria."
However, Fabius stressed that the "modalities" of French action in Iraq and Syria were not the same.
"In Syria, the situation is different: (President) Bashar Al-Assad cannot be a partner, because he has an established link" with IS.
"That is why we will continue to help the moderate Syrian opposition, which is fighting both" the Islamic State and the Assad regime,” Fabius said, according to AFP.
The comments were made as U.S. President Barack Obama prepares to launch an international coalition to deal with IS.
Obama has already authorized the use of airstrikes to prevent the group’s advance in Iraq and to protect American personnel and interests inside the country.