The French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle has arrived off the Syrian coast to take part in Operation ‘Chammal’, France’s anti-Islamic State combat mission.

Charles de Gaulle ‘s expanded air wing of 26 combat aircraft is expected to begin strikes imminently.

The vessel, which only left Toulon on 18 November, had its deployment to the region accelerated by several weeks and its air wing strengthened after the 13 November terror attacks on Paris. Having previously been planned to operate in the Gulf, the vessel’s operational area was also changed to the eastern Mediterranean – half the distance to Islamic State targets in Syria. […]