01:22 GMT +320 August 2019
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    Charles de Gaulle Aircraft Carrier

    Russia, France Will Create Joint Work Group in Syria - General Staff

    © AFP 2019 / PATRICK BAZ
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    The Russian Armed Forces are creating a joint task group with the French Navy against Islamic State (ISIL) militants in Syria, Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Andrei Kartapolov said.

    "In accordance with the request from the Russian president, Russia’s General Staff is examining proposals on joint military actions with the French Navy against terrorists. After the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier reaches Syria a joint work group is planned to be organized," Kartapolov said during a press briefing.

    On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin charged Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov to elaborate a joint action plan on Syria both in the sea and in the air.

    The president also noted that Russian forces should cooperate with French sailors from the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier as with allies.

    "A French naval group led by an aircraft carrier will soon enter your area of operations," Putin old Oleg Krivorog, who heads the Russian naval unit protecting the airbase in Syria hosting Russian warplanes. "It is necessary to establish direct contact with the French and work with them as allies."

    In a telephone conversation, Vladimir Putin and French leader Francois Hollande agreed to ensure military and intelligence cooperation between Russia and France. The two leaders also agreed to meet during Hollande's visit to Moscow November 26.

    On Monday, Hollande called for a broad coalition including the United States and Russia to tackle ISIL which had claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks on Friday.

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