French Admiral: Warplanes Mostly Gathering Info on IS group

A French sailor walks alongaide Rafale warplanes on the deck of the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, docked at Cyprus' main port of Limassol, on Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. Rear Admiral Marc Aussedat, commander of a French aircraft carrier strike group says the Islamic State group remains active in Syria and Iraq despite no longer having a territorial foothold and French aircraft are supporting ground troops battling IS fighters mainly in Iraq. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

LIMASSOL, Cyprus – The Islamic State group remains active in Syria and Iraq despite major territorial losses, necessitating French air support for troops mainly in Iraq, the commander of a French aircraft carrier strike group said Friday.

Rear Admiral Marc Aussedat said Rafale warplanes from the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier have been mainly used to gather information on the whereabouts of IS fighters as well as on the group’s patterns of activity.

That intelligence is conveyed to commanders of a US-led coalition who coordinate on-the-ground operations against IS targets.

“The area of operations is mainly Iraq and it’s where the coalition needs us to be,” Aussedat said aboard the Charles de Gaulle, which is currently docked at Cyprus’ main port of Limassol.

The Rafales carry 500-pound bombs to strike IS positions, but haven’t dropped any in the month since the Charles de Gaulle has been deployed in the east Mediterranean as part of the coalition.

“We didn’t have any strike so far,” Aussedat said. “But it doesn’t mean that we are not working against (IS) … I’m doing what the coalition needs me to do. And so far I had to gather intelligence and to be present.”

IS remnants have been gradually building up a guerrilla campaign over the past year as tensions between the U.S. and Iran provide a comeback opportunity for the extremist group, experts say.

Some 20 Rafales are stationed on the Charles de Gaulle, along with a pair of E-2C Hawkeye aircraft and two helicopters.

The carrier is escorted by two French frigates, a Greek frigate, a nuclear attack submarine and a supply ship.

During its deployment, the Charles de Gaulle and its aircraft conducted a number of air and naval maneuvers with Cyprus’ National Guard.

1 Comment

  1. “The area of operations is mainly Iraq and it’s where the coalition needs us to be,” Aussedat said aboard the Charles de Gaulle, which is currently docked at Cyprus’ main port of Limassol.

    Did not Anastasiadies,the corrupt leader of Cyprus taking gifts from Saudi Oil war criminals, and the French ..get the message from the Iraq government and its people ..which is …

    The coalition no longer exists…and U.S, French and all the other Nato war criminals and degenerates who have supported terrorist Sunni Muslim proxy armies with Turkey are to leave Iraq immediately!

    Of course, the French war criminals,.who just recently ..did not bomb ISIS and Al Queda positions in Syria and Iraq,…but coalition militias of Iraq, and Syria Government forces fighting Turkey.and French proxy armies in Idlib , Syria!

    The French ..who have not won a war in Centuries.. including losing a war in Vietnam, like the U.S ..by a bunch of Rice Paddy peasants… apparently .. join the acknowledged NATO aircraft carrier..captained by undeclared Nato captain Anastasiades, who prostitutes like Mistotakis ..everything belonging to Greeks!

    The French..now become an International criminal rogue nation , like America ..in refusing to leave ..and expose what the War on Terrorism really is a false flag fabrication to overthrow the countries of the Middle East and in particular, the destruction of libya!

    Nato France , U.S and Turkey…all subject to war crimes and crimes against humanity!

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