France has deployed its carrier strike group, built around the flagship Charles de Gaulle, to the Mediterranean to support efforts to defeat Islamic State.
The French military said the engagement, expected to last until April 2022, came amid a “hardening of regional tensions”.
The task force will also work with units from the US, Morocco, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain.
The Charles de Gaulle, with 1,200 sailors, fighter jets, helicopters and surveillance planes on board, will be accompanied by three frigates, a supply ship, and a nuclear submarine.
They will join Operation Inherent Resolve, the international effort working to militarily defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The group may also take part in EU efforts to disrupt migrant trafficking in the Mediterranean and ensure Libya’s arms embargo is upheld.
“The deployment of this military capability, unique in the European Union, underlines France’s attachment to freedom of action and maritime and air traffic,” the French military said.