A French aircraft carrier has departed the European country as part of Paris’ renewed efforts aimed at reinforcing airstrikes against purported positions held by the Daesh terrorists in violence-wracked Syria.
Nuclear-powered carrier Charles de Gaulle, Europe’s biggest carrier, left the southern French city of Toulon on Wednesday for the eastern Mediterranean.
With 26 fighter jets on board, the vessel will join 12 French planes already stationed in the United Arab Emirates and Jordan to conduct air raids allegedly against the Takfiri extremists in Syria as part of the US-led coalition.
The development comes five days after the recent deadly terrorist attacks in the French capital city of Paris. The November 13 attacks, which were claimed by Daesh, left 132 people dead and more than 350 others wounded.
Following the fatal assaults, French President Francois Hollande said that France will be able to “intensify its operations in Syria” with a total of 38 fighters jets meant for the mission.
“The aircraft carrier will enable us to be more efficient in coordination with our allies,” he added.
France is among the Western countries that have been supporting the militants fighting against the Syrian government. As part of a US-led coalition, the European state has also been conducting air raids against what are said to be the Daesh terrorists inside the Arab country without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
The air assaults in Syria are an extension of the US-led aerial campaign against purported Daesh positions in Iraq, which started in August 2014. Analysts say the attacks have failed to disband the extremists.
France ‘at war’ against terrorism
In another development on Wednesday, the French president said in a televised address that his country was “at war” against terrorism by Daesh.
He further called for a “large coalition” to destroy Daesh, which threatens the whole world and “commits massacres” in the Middle East.
Hollande’s remarks came after a seven-hour police siege on an apartment in the northern Paris suburb of Saint Denis, where police suspected the mastermind of the Paris attacks might have been.
The siege, which ended after seven hours, left two people dead and seven others arrested.