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France - Iraq

French aircraft carrier set for Persian Gulf, report

The Charles-de-Gaulle aircraft carrier
The Charles-de-Gaulle aircraft carrier Reuters/Stringer

The French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is preparing to leave for the Gulf region where it is expected to engage in combat against IS, according to the specialist website Mer et Marine.

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Although such a move has not been confirmed by the French Presidency, nor army or naval spokespersons, the website is usually well-informed about naval matters.

According to Mer et Marine, the Charles de Gaulle and its 30 aircraft, including Rafale jets, should take up position in the Persian Gulf.

They will take part in the air bombing campaign conducted by the US-led coalition against the jihadist forces of the group which calls itself Islamic State;

France already has nine Rafale planes, a C135 supply plane, an Awacs E-3F detector plane and an Atlantic 2 maritime patrol plane in the region.

The Rafales are based either in the United Arab Emirates or in Jordan.

President Hollande is scheduled to make a speech aboard the Charles de Gaulle at its home base in Toulon on 14 January, when he is expected officially to announce its deployment.
 

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