The Islamic State has graduated beyond the auspices of a terrorist group and has the organization and capabilities of a full-fledged state-sponsored army, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Monday.

The Islamic State "both has the capability to act as a classical army but also have operations in urban areas and [conduct] terrorist activities," Le Drian said.

The French defense minister visited the Pentagon Monday to discuss U.S.-French cooperation against the Islamic State in Operation Inherent Resolve and ongoing efforts against Boko Haram in North and West Africa.

What Le Drian would not discuss, however, was any French involvement in airstrikes over Syria against the Islamic State.

"I am not going to add to any comments about the strikes," Le Drian said, calling it "our choice" to focus on striking against the Islamic State in Iraq.

France and Syria have long-running ties. France initially supported and pushed for airstrikes against the regime of Bashar al-Assad in 2011 when he appeared to cross President Obama's red line on Syrian use of chemical weapons against its population. Yet Paris is no longer willing to discuss its own involvement in dropping ordnance on the country and potentially hitting Syrian civilians.

In recent days, the U.S. has significantly increased the number of strikes it is conducting against Raqqa, the Syrian-based headquarters of the Islamic State. On Monday, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said those strikes were not targeted against any particular individual but to limit the group's freedom of movement. However, if an opportunity to strike Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi became available, "we would certainly take it."