French Aircraft Carrier 'Ready to Act' Against ISIS in Syria

Army chief Pierre de Villiers sees no fast results in the fight against Islamic State.

A French army Rafale jet on the tarmac of an undisclosed air base as part of France's Operation Chammal in support of the US-led coalition against Islamic State.
Sebastien Dupont/ECPAD via AP

French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, sent to help operations against Islamic State insurgents in Syria, will be "operational" from Monday and "ready to act," French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian revealed on Sunday.

Le Drian told French media that Islamic State must be destroyed at all costs.

"We must annihilate Islamic State worldwide," he said, adding, "That's the only possible direction." He added any country "who wants to participate militarily is welcome."

France has intensified its aerial bombing in Syria since ISIS terrorists attacked a concert hall, cafes and restaurants and a stadium in Paris on November 13, killing 130 people and wounding hundreds.

Also on Sunday, the French army's chief of staff said that he sees no short-term military victory in the fight against Islamic State as Paris intensifies its strikes on targets in Syria following the deadly attacks in the French capital.

Speaking with French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, Pierre de Villiers said that "In the military, we are used to the long term but people... want fast results. In Syria and Iraq, we are in the heart of that paradox. Everybody knows that in the end this conflict will be resolved through diplomatic and political channels."

President Francois Hollande is scheduled to meet in Paris with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday, and then travel to Washington and Moscow later in the week to push for a stronger international coalition against ISIS.