The United Kingdom's Royal Air Force attacked a group of more than 30 Islamic State militants who were engaged in operations against Kurdish troops in northern Iraq on Tuesday, the country's ministry of defence announced. Using a combination of bombs and machine guns, the UK flights supported the Kurdish unit, who said the attack had been highly successful. Just hours before that, France had invoked a provision European Union treaty, seeking assistance in its operations against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. The French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, at a meeting in Brussels, asked EU partners to help either in the actual airstrikes in the ISIS strongholds, or by providing support in other French operations. The call was backed unanimously by EU countries, The Guardian reported. Russia, too, launched a series of attacks in Raqqa, involving the use of sea-launched cruise missiles and long-range bombers.

Later in the day, German police arrested three people in the western town of Aachen, after receiving tip-offs saying they might have been involved in the attacks. Two more people were arrested in the German town of Alsdorf.

French police carried out 128 new raids across the country early Tuesday in a crackdown on suspects linked to the Paris terror attacks on Friday, interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve told AFP. The fresh raids came a day after the authorities had made 23 arrests and seized 31 weapons, including a rocket launcher, in more than 150 raids across the cities of Lyon, Toulouse, Grenoble, Jeumont and the Paris suburb of Bobigny.

France also launched a new round of airstrikes against militant group Islamic State in its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa on Tuesday, with help from the United States forces. A total of 16 bombs were dropped from 10 Rafale and Mirage 2000 fighters, destroying a command centre and a training centre in Raqqa. A statement from the government said, “Conducted in coordination with US forces, the raid was aimed at sites identified during reconnaissance missions previously carried out by France.”

This follows Sunday's raids by 12 French warplanes on a dozen IS targets in the city, which was its first major military response to the Paris terror attacks that killed 129 people. French president Francois Hollande on Monday had vowed to intensify the airstrikes against IS. He held a special joint session of Parliament at the Palace of Versailles, where he said that French troops would unite with the US-led coalition to defeat IS in Syria.

On Monday, the coalition jets had also hit IS targets in Syria, while another strike destroyed dozens of oil tankers, reported the Associated Press. The Guardian said the oil tankers that were hit were part of a smuggling operation that brings the IS $1.4 million a day.