In Iraq France extends aircraft carrier mission to back Mosul offensive

The carrier was deployed to the region on September 30 with a one-month mission, its third since February 2015

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A Marine Rafale jet fighter departs from the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle on the Mediterranean Sea in October 2016 play

A Marine Rafale jet fighter departs from the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle on the Mediterranean Sea in October 2016

(AFP/File)
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France said Wednesday it had extended the mission of its aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, in the eastern Mediterranean until mid-December to help the offensive against the Islamic State group in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

President Francois Hollande decided to extend the mission after France's defence council "reviewed the military, humanitarian, political and security stakes involved in the recapture of Mosul," a statement issued by his office said.

The carrier was deployed to the region on September 30 with a one-month mission, its third since February 2015.

With the offensive in its second week, Iraqi forces backed by US-led coalition air strikes were inching towards eastern Mosul on Tuesday as growing numbers of civilians fled the city, Iraq's second largest.

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