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US-Led Coalition Loses Key Aircraft Carrier

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The French Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier will stop to take part in coalition’s operations against terrorists of the Islamic State (IS) group in December.

US-Led Coalition Loses Key Aircraft Carrier

Charles De Gaulle nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (Photo: Wikipedia / US Navy VFA-146 official website)

The Charles de Gaulle, the only one aircraft carrier of the French Armed Forces, which is currently deployed in the Mediterranean Sea, will stop to take part in coalition’s operations against terrorists in December, the Sputnik news agency reported, citing French officials.

Reportedly, the aircraft carrier will return to France for scheduled maintenance and refueling that cannot be delayed any longer. Earlier, French President Francois Hollande postponed the maintenance, which is expected to last about a year. However, as it became known, his decision was hasty.

From the standpoint of the US-led coalition, fighting against terrorists of the Islamic State (IS) group, the withdrawal of the Charles de Gaulle can deal a heavy blow to US allies in the fight against Islamists.

However, commander of the naval group, Rear Admiral Olivier Lebas noted that France will continue to assist the effort against the IS in other ways.

“ISIS is enduring tremendous pressure,” Lebas said, adding that “it’s very important to maintain this high pressure to take advantage of this positive momentum in the theater.”

According to the Stars and Stripes newspaper, since September 2015, when the Charles de Gaulle arrived to the Mediterranean, the aircraft carrier deployed over 1,000 airstrikes over Syria and Iraq, including at least 100 strikes since the battle over Mosul began.

Meanwhile, France is not the only one country, which decided to withdraw its combat forces from operations of the international coalition. Recently, it was reported that the Danish authorities intend to withdraw seven F-16 fighter jets.

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