French aircraft carrier begins Iraq operations: French sources

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...

14 PHOTOS
France Airstrikes ISIS Iraq
See Gallery
French aircraft carrier begins Iraq operations: French sources
According to the US Naval Institute, France's most powerful aircraft carrier has arrived to the Persian Gulf. Named the Charles De Gaulle, the ship is the nuclear equipped and considered the largest Western European warship in use. France's role in the anti-ISIS led coalition has been mostly intelligence-gathering operations, but since the ISIS orchestrated Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris on January 7th, the country has begun playing a great role in ousting ISIS from Iraq.
Techinicians stand next to a French Navy Rafale fighter jet onboard the French Navy aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle operating in the Gulf on February 23, 2015. The first Rafale fighter jet took off in the morning from the Charles de Gaulle as part of the US-led military campaign against the Islamic State jihadist group in Iraq, as it sailed about 200 kilometres (120 miles) off the coast north of Bahrain in the direction of Iraq. 'The integration of the Charles de Gaulle in the operation... (in Iraq) begins this morning,' a member of Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's staff told AFP as his entourage made its way to the carrier. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK BAZ (Photo credit should read PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)
The deck of the French Navy aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle reflects on the helmet of a safety and security operator in the Gulf on February 23, 2015. The first Rafale fighter jet took off in the morning from the Charles de Gaulle as part of the US-led military campaign against the Islamic State jihadist group in Iraq, as it sailed about 200 kilometres (120 miles) off the coast north of Bahrain in the direction of Iraq. 'The integration of the Charles de Gaulle in the operation... (in Iraq) begins this morning,' a member of Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's staff told AFP as his entourage made its way to the carrier. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK BAZ (Photo credit should read PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Weapons ordonances load a bomb on a French Super Etendard jet onboard the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier operating in the Gulf on February 23, 2015. The first Rafale fighter jet took off in the morning from the Charles de Gaulle as part of the US-led military campaign against the Islamic State jihadist group in Iraq, as it sailed about 200 kilometres (120 miles) off the coast north of Bahrain in the direction of Iraq. 'The integration of the Charles de Gaulle in the operation... (in Iraq) begins this morning,' a member of Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's staff told AFP as his entourage made its way to the carrier. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK BAZ (Photo credit should read PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)
French Navy Rafale fighter jets (R) and a HawkEye reconnaissance plane (L) sit onboard the French Navy aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle operating in the Gulf on February 23, 2015. The first Rafale fighter jet took off in the morning from the Charles de Gaulle as part of the US-led military campaign against the Islamic State jihadist group in Iraq, as it sailed about 200 kilometres (120 miles) off the coast north of Bahrain in the direction of Iraq. 'The integration of the Charles de Gaulle in the operation... (in Iraq) begins this morning,' a member of Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's staff told AFP as his entourage made its way to the carrier. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK BAZ (Photo credit should read PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)
A weapon ordonance loads a bomb on a French Navy Rafale fighter jet onboard the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier operating in the Gulf on February 23, 2015. The first Rafale fighter jet took off in the morning from the Charles de Gaulle as part of the US-led military campaign against the Islamic State jihadist group in Iraq, as it sailed about 200 kilometres (120 miles) off the coast north of Bahrain in the direction of Iraq. 'The integration of the Charles de Gaulle in the operation... (in Iraq) begins this morning,' a member of Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's staff told AFP as his entourage made its way to the carrier. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK BAZ (Photo credit should read PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)
A cargo ship sails past a French Navy Rafale fighter jet sitting on the deck of the French Navy aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle operating in the Gulf on February 23, 2015. The first Rafale fighter jet took off in the morning from the Charles de Gaulle as part of the US-led military campaign against the Islamic State jihadist group in Iraq, as it sailed about 200 kilometres (120 miles) off the coast north of Bahrain in the direction of Iraq. 'The integration of the Charles de Gaulle in the operation... (in Iraq) begins this morning,' a member of Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's staff told AFP as his entourage made its way to the carrier. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK BAZ (Photo credit should read PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)
A weapon ordonance pulls a bomb onboard the French Navy aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle operating in the Gulf on February 23, 2015. The first Rafale fighter jet took off in the morning from the Charles de Gaulle as part of the US-led military campaign against the Islamic State jihadist group in Iraq, as it sailed about 200 kilometres (120 miles) off the coast north of Bahrain in the direction of Iraq. 'The integration of the Charles de Gaulle in the operation... (in Iraq) begins this morning,' a member of Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's staff told AFP as his entourage made its way to the carrier. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK BAZ (Photo credit should read PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Weapons ordonances load a bomb on a French Navy Rafale fighter jet onboard the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier operating in the Gulf on February 23, 2015. The first Rafale fighter jet took off in the morning from the Charles de Gaulle as part of the US-led military campaign against the Islamic State jihadist group in Iraq, as it sailed about 200 kilometres (120 miles) off the coast north of Bahrain in the direction of Iraq. 'The integration of the Charles de Gaulle in the operation... (in Iraq) begins this morning,' a member of Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's staff told AFP as his entourage made its way to the carrier. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK BAZ (Photo credit should read PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Weapon ordonances load a bomb on a French Navy Rafale fighter jet onboard the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier operating in the Gulf on February 23, 2015. The first Rafale fighter jet took off in the morning from the Charles de Gaulle as part of the US-led military campaign against the Islamic State jihadist group in Iraq, as it sailed about 200 kilometres (120 miles) off the coast north of Bahrain in the direction of Iraq. 'The integration of the Charles de Gaulle in the operation... (in Iraq) begins this morning,' a member of Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's staff told AFP as his entourage made its way to the carrier. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK BAZ (Photo credit should read PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)
A weapon ordonance load a bomb on a French Navy Rafale fighter jet onboard the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier operating in the Gulf on February 23, 2015. The first Rafale fighter jet took off in the morning from the Charles de Gaulle as part of the US-led military campaign against the Islamic State jihadist group in Iraq, as it sailed about 200 kilometres (120 miles) off the coast north of Bahrain in the direction of Iraq. 'The integration of the Charles de Gaulle in the operation... (in Iraq) begins this morning,' a member of Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's staff told AFP as his entourage made its way to the carrier. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK BAZ (Photo credit should read PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Iraqi demonstrators chant angry slogans as they set a representation of the French flag on fire during a protest against caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad published in the satirical French weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo, outside the French Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
A girl lights a candle on January 11, 2015 at a ceremony at the Grand Synagogue in Paris for all the victims of the attacks in Paris this week, which claimed 17 lives. At least 3.7 million people marched against extremism across France, according to the Interior Ministry, in the biggest mobilisation ever recorded in the country after the Islamist attacks that killed 17 and shocked France. AFP PHOTO / POOL / MATTHIEU ALEXANDRE (Photo credit should read MATTHIEU ALEXANDRE/AFP/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

(Reuters) - France's Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier has started military operations against Islamic State in Iraq, a French army source said on Monday.

"The carrier and its naval group has officially started missions as part of its Chammal operation in Iraq," the source told Reuters in a reference to the name of the mission.

A second source said the carrier would be engaged for several weeks.

Le Figaro newspaper, which is accompanying Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian ahead of an official announcement he is set to make on the carrier on Monday, said the first reconnaissance and possible air strikes in Iraq took place in the morning.

France was the first country to join the U.S.-led coalition in air strikes in Iraq against Islamic State insurgents, who have also taken control of large parts of neighboring Syria during the course of the civil war there. However, it has ruled out striking the group in Syria.

The carrier is accompanied by an attack submarine, several frigates, including a British anti-submarine frigate and a refueling ship.

France has nine fighter jets, a maritime patrol aircraft and a refueling plane at its base in the United Arab Emirates as part of its Iraq mission. It also operates six Mirage fighter jets from Jordan.

With the Charles de Gaulle, there are now more than 3,000 French military personnel involved in the operation. (Reporting By Marine Pennetier and John Irish; Editing by Andrew Callus)

More in the news:
Obama open to changes to military authority against IS
Death toll rises to at least 70 in Bangladesh ferry disaster
Wesleyan: 11 students hospitalized with drug symptoms

Read Full Story

People are Reading