France adds aircraft carrier to forces striking IS
search

France adds aircraft carrier to forces striking IS

The Charles De Gaulle brings with it 26 fighter jets, more than doubling French air power in the region

A French Rafale fighter aircraft takes off with bombs from the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, in the Mediterranean sea, as part of operation Chammal in Syria and Iraq against the Islamic State group, November 23, 2015. (AFP/ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT)
A French Rafale fighter aircraft takes off with bombs from the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, in the Mediterranean sea, as part of operation Chammal in Syria and Iraq against the Islamic State group, November 23, 2015. (AFP/ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT)

ABOARD THE CHARLES DE GAULLE AIRCRAFT CARRER — Warplanes took off Monday from France’s Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, newly deployed to the eastern Mediterranean, for operations over areas held by the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, military sources said.

Rafale jets loaded with bombs were catapulted from the carrier’s flight deck Monday morning, an AFP reporter saw.

Speaking to AFP, sources did not indicate the nature of the operations, which come 10 days after the deadly attacks in Paris that left 130 dead.

French President Francois Hollande said earlier in Paris: “We will intensify our strikes, choosing targets that will do the most damage possible to this army of terrorists.”

The Charles De Gaulle has 26 fighters, more than doubling France’s strike capacity in the US-led mission against IS.

France already has six Mirage and six Rafale jets stationed in the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

A military source said their missions would overfly Turkey or Jordan to avoid Syrian anti-aircraft defenses.

To avoid crossing paths with Russian planes, France is coordinating with Moscow via the US coalition headquarters in Qatar.

French and Russian naval commanders began exchanging information at the end of last week ahead of the deployment to the eastern Mediterranean, where Russia has several ships.

Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed his navy last week to work with the French “as allies.”

After its operation in the Mediterranean, the Charles de Gaulle will head to the Gulf to relieve a US carrier.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments