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France deploys nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to Gulf

The announcement was made Wednesday during French President Francois Hollande's annual speech to the armed forces.

By
JC Finley
The French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (R91) underway in 2009. Photo by U.S. Navy
The French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (R91) underway in 2009. Photo by U.S. Navy

PARIS, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- French President Francois Hollande announced Wednesday the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier will be deployed to the Gulf in support of anti-Islamic State operations.

The announcement was made during an annual speech to the French Armed Forces.

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Speaking aboard the nuclear-powered vessel on Wednesday, Hollande said the deadly attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last week "justifies the presence of our aircraft carrier."

"Thanks to the Charles de Gaulle we will have intelligence," said Hollande, adding that "we may also conduct operations in Iraq."

Any such airstrikes would be undertaken under Operation Chammal, the French contribution to the U.S.-led multinational Operation Inherent Resolve.

The Charles de Gaulle is expected to be deployed until at least May.

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