Reuters Jean-Paul Pelissier
France took over the leadership of the naval group of the international coalition against “ISIS” in the Gulf, the French Ministry of Defense announced today, Wednesday.
According to the ministry, the transfer of the group’s leadership to France “is evidence of the confidence in its operational capabilities and its determination to fight ISIS.” A ministry statement indicated that France had previously led the coalition naval forces in the Gulf in December 2015.
The command center is to be located on board the French aircraft carrier “Charles de Gaulle”, which was on a mission in the Eastern Mediterranean since February, and then was transferred to the Indian Ocean, as part of the French “North” operation (currently underway in Iraq and Syria to contain the expansion of the organization “ISIS” and support for the Iraqi armed forces).
The ministry confirmed that the command center aboard the “Charles de Gaulle” possesses all the powers that the US Combat Group Command usually possesses, including the management of the Air Patrol Group. On the other hand, the statement indicated that “France’s presence in this region, which is crucial to ensuring regional stability and European security, will allow it to have independence in assessing and analyzing the situation.”
In addition to “Charles de Gaulle”, whose function is not limited to confronting “ISIS”, but also includes ensuring the security of navigation, the French group of ships also includes the multi-purpose “Provence” frigate, the “Chevalier Ball” anti-aircraft frigate, and the tanker “Far”. It can also serve as a command post.