France deploying aircraft carrier to help fight against IS

AP News
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Posted: Nov 05, 2015 11:57 AM
France deploying aircraft carrier to help fight against IS

PARIS (AP) — France will deploy an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf to assist the fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

French President Francois Hollande announced his decision Thursday at the inauguration of the country's new ultra-secure defense ministry building in Paris.

He didn't say when the carrier will leave the French Mediterranean port of Toulon.

The Charles de Gaulle, France's only aircraft carrier, will boost the air power of the U.S.-led coalition conducting airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.

The French carrier had previously been deployed in the Persian Gulf from February to April this year, conducting between 15 and 20 flights per day, according to the French military.

France also has 12 jet fighters based in the United Arab Emirates and Jordan involved in the operations.

France's new defense ministry building aims to bring together army, air force and navy headquarters in order to make it easier to lead France's military operations abroad.

About 9,300 military and civil staff who were previously dispersed around a dozen different sites are now based in the 4.2 billion euro building ($4.6 billion), dubbed the "French Pentagon."