Military jets from France’s Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier on Monday flew their first missions over Islamic State-controlled territories in Syria and Iraq, AFP reported, citing military sources.
No information has yet been provided on whether the jets’ first flights were reconnaissance missions or involved airstrikes.
Once the signal for take-off was given, the planes catapulted off the carrier, reaching speeds of 250 km/h speed in 2.5 seconds, an AFP reporter said.
The presence of 26 military aircraft aboard the Charles de Gaulle triples French forces in the region, adding to the 12 planes already stationed in the UAE and Jordan: six Rafale and six Mirage 2000 aircraft.
The Charles de Gaulle, France’s only aircraft carrier, was deployed in the Mediterranean on Saturday.
The start of the carrier’s military mission comes 10 days after a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris left 130 people dead and some 360 others injured.
The jihadist group ISIS claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings and mass shootings that occurred across the French capital.
France then pledged to “redouble and coordinate” its moves against Islamic State.
“We will intensify our strikes, we will choose targets that will do the most damage possible to the terrorist army,” French President Francois Hollande said.
The Russian and French military have begun cooperating in the region, exchanging data, after President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops to work with the French as “with allies.”
About a week ago, it was officially stated that the deadly plane crash over the Sinai desert that left 224 people dead was a terror act.
The UK has also offered its assistance, saying the French Air Force can use RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus to mount airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria.
The British Prime Minister David Cameron said that London would do its upmost to help out the French.
“The United Kingdom will do all in our power to support our friend and ally France to defeat this evil death cult,” he said.