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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  • JPH

    If France was ever serious about fighting IS it would have ended the economic sanctions against Syria. France stance of “Assad must go” is directly supporting the very IS terrorist who executed attacks within France resulting in over 200 deaths over 2016. France (and UK) recent antics in the UN Security Council are another obstruction of the resolution of the Syrian proxy war. UK and France have functioned as attack dogs for US foreign policy long enough. However now that policy seems set to change the attack dogs are running wild.

    • Joseph Scott

      Sure, except that DGSE actually staged those attacks, so in that light, it makes more sense.

  • Barba_Papa

    The disadvantage of having grand imperial ambitions but only a single carrier. You can’t keep it out there indefinitely, you can’t relieve it with another. In that respect France has, to quote Otto von Bismarck, a big appetite but such poor teeth. Still, the same applies to Russia as it can’t keep the Kuznetsov out there indefinitely either. That is if it still has an airgroup left by the end of this deployment. At least it still has that unsinkable aircraft carrier called Khmeimin. And even without aircraft the Kuznetsov could still missile spam any Jihadists to death with its missile batteries.

    • John Mason

      Russia has Crimea and Syrian ports. Kuznetsov has good support.

    • Pierre HU

      a second one is plan !

  • Carol Davidek-Waller

    It would be a heavy blow to the U.S. IF it were actually fighting terrorists.

  • John Marks

    All these airstrikes on Mosul?
    How haven’t we heard of them in the press?

    • Barba_Papa

      Because nobody cares when civvies get killed during the fight against IS? Then its the heroic Iraqi and Kurdish forces, with Western air support who are fighting against the evil hordes of IS to free the poor people of Mosul. And if some of them get killed, well, since only the good news stories get reported its mostly out of sight, out of mind. so its considered acceptable. It’s the fault of IS really for using those poor civvies as human shields. Plus IS doesn’t have sweet 7 year old girls with Twitter accounts crying for help from American bombs.

      Whereas in Aleppo its the evil hordes of Assad trying to enslave and murder the poor people of East-Aleppo together with those poor moderate freedom fighters. Bombed mercilessly by a genocidal Russian air campaign that carpet bombs East Aleppo’s civilian population, not to mention the many hospitals. Which seem to exist in such great numbers, most people in the West can’t even hope to get that same kind of medical coverage.

      It’s how you frame things, and the way the Mosul campaign gets framed leads to less critical questions, whereas the way Aleppo gets framed causes moral outrage.

      Objectively though, how can you even speak of a genocidal campaign in East Aleppo when the number of reported deaths numbers in the tens or at best hundreds, whereas tens of thousands are reported as refugees making it into government territory. That doesn’t lent much evidence to a genocidal campaign, that seems more indicative of the normal number of civilian casualties to be expected in urban warfare that takes place amongst them. When you fight in an urban environment that has civilians, civvies will get killed. If you exclude murdered Jews more Dutch civilians got killed during the fighting when the Allies liberated the country then by German repression by a factor of 10. Does that make the Allied campaign genocidal?

  • AMHants

    Are they realising they are on the losing team? By the way, who invited France to invade Syria? Aren’t there only 4 Aircraft Carriers in European nations? Italy has 2, Spain has 1 and France has 1.

    • Hunter1324

      Spain no longer has a carrier, now it has just an overglorfied amphibious assault ship.

  • Aubrey Garrett

    1000 French direct hits on various sand dunes. Impressive!