France strikes ISIL from newly-deployed carrier in eastern Med

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French Rafale warplanes from the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier attacked Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) targets in Syria on Nov. 23.

A French Rafale fighter aircraft takes off with bombs from the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, in the Mediterranean sea. /AFP
A French Rafale fighter takes off from the Charles de Gaulle in the Mediterranean. /AFP

“Two air force Mirage 2000s were engaged in the mission,” the French defense ministry said. “Simultaneously four Rafale Marines from the aircraft carrier joined them over Syria.”

According to a report by AFP, the French jets targeted Raqqa, ISIL’s de facto Syrian capital. The strikes “destroyed an active site occupied by terrorist fighters in Raqqa,” the French defense ministry said.

France launched its first air strikes from the aircraft carrier earlier on Nov. 23, targeting ISIL in Iraq.

France deployed the Charles de Gaulle to the eastern Mediterranean in response to the Nov. 13 terror attacks in Paris. The 26 jet fighters on the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier triple France’s capacity to carry out strikes in the region.

The increase in France’s attacks on ISIL targets came after the UN Security Council approved a French-drafted resolution authorizing “all necessary measures” in the fight against ISIL.

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