French president to visit aircraft carrier off Syria: Office

 A rafale aircraft takes-off from the Charles de Gaulle during operations in the Mediterranean Sea.
A rafale aircraft takes-off from the Charles de Gaulle during operations in the Mediterranean Sea.PHOTO: REUTERS

Paris (AFP) – President Francois Hollande will on Friday (Dec 4) visit the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in the eastern Mediterranean off Syria where it is being used to conduct air strikes on Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets, his office said.

“He will meet military personnel taking part in operations to intensify the fight against Daesh in Syria and Iraq,” a statement from the Elysee Palace said, using another name for the militant  group that claimed it carried out the attacks in Paris three weeks ago.

Hollande is expected to meet fighter pilots and the crews that service the planes in his first visit to one of the sites from which France’s military operations against ISIS are being launched.

The Socialist president has seen a surge in his popularity ratings since he declared “war” on ISIS after 130 people were killed by gunmen and suicide bombers in the French capital on Nov 13.