French President Francois Hollande has announced that the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier is ready for use in military operations against Islamic State in Iraq. The warship is to work in cooperation with coalition forces combatting the militants.
In a speech onboard the aircraft carrier on Wednesday, Hollande told military personnel that that the Charlie Hebdo massacre carried out by Islamic extremists last week “justifies the presence of our aircraft carrier.”
“Thanks to the Charles de Gaulle we will have intelligence … we may also conduct operations in Iraq,” Hollande said.
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is the flagship of the French fleet, and is currently cruising off France’s southern coast in the Mediterranean.