16:15 GMT +321 October 2018
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    French navy technicians work near a French Rafale aircraft on the flight deck on the aircraft carrier Charles-de-Gaulle, in eastern Mediterranean sea, on November 21, 2015

    Zero Hour: France Flagship Aircraft Carrier Joins Anti-ISIL War

    © AFP 2018 / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT
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    The French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is due to start an operation against the Islamic State group in Syria on November 23, according to the French Defense Minister.

    In an interview with the Europe1 radio station, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, the flagship of the French Navy, is set to launch its operation against Islamic State militants on Monday, RIA Novosti reported.

    Late on Saturday, the Charles de Gaulle arrived at the Eastern Mediterranean shore, from where it will launch bombing raids on ISIL targets in Syria.

    "The aircraft carrier will be ready for a mission [in Syria] from Monday," Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

    The Europe1 radio station also reported that the French aircraft carrier has already established communication with the Russian military.

    Earlier this week, Paris said it expected anti-terror assistance from the rest of the European Union.

    In turn, Belgium and the United Kingdom pledged ships to sail with the task force, while Ireland offered to boost its troop numbers in a UN-led peacekeeping mission in Mali to allow France to redeploy soldiers elsewhere, if needed.

    On November 13, terrorists attacked several venues around Paris, killing 130 people and leaving over 350 more injured. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

    In the wake of the violence, French President Francois Hollande pledged to do his upmost to counter the threat of terrorism, particularly by ISIL.

    Hollande's anti-terrorism measures have been agreed with the UN Security Council.

    France is part of a coalition of 65 countries that are bombing Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq, acting without the permission of local authorities.

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    Tags:
    Daesh, navy, militants, aircraft carrier, operation, Jean-Yves Le Drian, France
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