French aircraft carrier to move to Gulf 'in a few days': Hollande

4th December 2015, Comments 0 comments

The aircraft carrier at the heart of France's campaign of air strikes on Islamic State jihadists will move from the eastern Mediterranean to the Gulf "in a few days", President Francois Hollande told its crew during a visit Friday.

"In a few days, you will go into a new zone, taking over command responsibilities from our allies in the coalition," Hollande said, after arriving by helicopter

The Charles de Gaulle will take over duties from a US carrier in the Gulf, coordinating strikes on IS targets in Iraq and, increasingly, in Syria.

"You will continue in another way the struggle that we have undertaken against terrorism," Hollande told the crew.

France began bombing jihadist targets in Syria in late September, with planes using bases in the region.

But the carrier was only deployed last month after Hollande declared that France would respond "mercilessly" to IS in the wake of the November 13 jihadist attacks on Paris in which 130 people were killed.

© 2015 AFP

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