"France has always said that Raqqa was a major objective," Le Drian told CNews television station. "Today, one can say that Raqqa is encircled, that the battle for Raqqa will start in the coming days."
"It will be a very hard battle, but a battle that is going to be of utmost importance," he added.
Earlier this week, the US Pentagon department had said that the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS had for the first time airdropped local ground forces behind enemy lines near the ISIS-held town of Tabqa in northern Syria, opening up a new front in the campaign to recapture Raqqa.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)