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France Pays Price for Front-Line Role From Syria to West Africa

  • France has troops in West Africa, warplanes over Middle East
  • Hollande says attacks are ``act of war'' by Islamic State
A French soldier of the 93rd Mountain Artillery Regiment, part of the French Army's 'Operation Barkhane', an anti-terrorist operation in the Sahel region of Africa.

A French soldier of the 93rd Mountain Artillery Regiment, part of the French Army's 'Operation Barkhane', an anti-terrorist operation in the Sahel region of Africa.

Photographer: Philippe Desmazes/AFP via Getty Images

France, which has been hit by deadly terror attacks twice this year, is paying the price for its front-line role in combating Islamic militants.

French special forces have been tracking Islamist militants in the Sahara since 2013. France was the first European country to join the U.S. air strikes on Islamic State in Iraq last year and is the only European country to join the U.S. in air strikes in Syria.