18:42 GMT +315 October 2019
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    Charles de Gaulle Aircraft Carrier

    Anti-Daesh Coalition Loses Key French Aircraft Carrier to Maintenance

    © AFP 2019 / PATRICK BAZ
    Middle East
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    The Charles de Gaulle, France’s lone aircraft carrier, is set to return to France this December for scheduled maintenance, a move that could deal a blow to the US-led coalition against Daesh.

    Refueling and maintaining the massive flattop cannot be delayed any longer, according to French officials, but France is intent on assisting the effort against Daesh in other ways.

    "Daesh is enduring tremendous pressure," Rear Admiral Olivier Lebas said, adding, "it’s very important to maintain this high pressure to take advantage of this positive momentum in the theater."

    Previously, French President Francois Hollande had postponed the maintenance, expected to last about a year. The Charles de Gaulle has deployed over 1,000 airstrikes over Iraq and Syria since the start of September 2015, Stars and Stripes reports, including at least 100 strikes since the battle over Mosul began.

    Iraqi and Kurdish ground forces have continued their push into Mosul as Russian allies have advanced into Aleppo. Meanwhile, Kurdish forces are also working to isolate Raqqa, Daesh’s capital, according to Stars and Stripes.


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    airstrike, aircraft carrier, Daesh, Francois Hollande, Olivier Lebas, Raqqa, Mosul
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