January 16, 2020 / 6:13 PM / a month ago

France to deploy Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier to support Middle East operations

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers his new year wishes to the military during a ceremony at the Orleans – Bricy Air Base 123 in Boulay-les-Barres near Orleans, France, January 16, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) - France will deploy the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier and its battle group from January to April to support French military operations in Middle East, Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday.

“The aircraft carrier will support Chammal operations (in the Middle East) from January to April 2020 before deploying to the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea”, Macron said at a New Year speech to the French military.

The deployment comes amid growing tensions between Iran and the United States and French concerns that the fight against Islamic State militants may be weakened within that context.

Reporting by Tangi Salaun; Writing by Matthieu Protard; editing by John Irish

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