France deploys aircraft carrier to join fight against ISIL in Iraq

French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (©AFP)

French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (©AFP)

France has deployed its Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf to join the so-called US-led military campaign against the ISIL terrorists in Iraq.

“The integration of the Charles de Gaulle in the operation… begins this morning,” a member of Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s staff told AFP on Monday as his entourage made its way to the carrier.

Charles de Gaulle sailed about 200 kilometers off the coast of Bahrain on Monday morning as the first French fighter jet took off from the carrier in the direction of Iraq.

The decision to send the aircraft carrier to join the military operations in Iraq was announced in mid-January by French President Francois Hollande.

On board the nuclear-powered vessel, Hollande said the terrorist attack carried out by the ISIL militants in the French capital, Paris, justified the presence of Charles de Gaulle in the region.

On January 7, two terrorists attacked the French magazine Charlie Hebdo’s office in Paris during which 12 of its staff members were killed. The ISIL later took responsibility for the attack.

France has been among the countries which initially supported the ISIL terrorists in 2012 to topple Basher al-Assad’s government in Syria. After taking over swathes of land in Syria, the terrorist Takfiris swept through northern and western Iraq in early June 2014.

After ISIL turned against the West’s interests and executed Western hostages as shown in videos released by the group, the US and its allies interfered and started targeting the terrorist group’s strongholds.

The US-led military coalition, France among its members, has been carrying out airstrikes on ISIL targets since early August in Iraq. ISIL positions have also been targeted in Syria since late September.

By Press TV