French president to visit aircraft carrier off Syria: office

France President, Francois Hollande

France President, Francois Hollande

President Francois Hollande will on Friday 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 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 jihadist 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 IS are being launched.

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

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