France deploys artillery, readies carrier to Iraq for Mosul operation

France deploys artillery, readies carrier to Iraq for Mosul operation

France said on Tuesday it was deploying artillery to Iraq and readying its aircraft carrier for deployment to reinforce foreign military support for the Iraqi army's expected push to recapture Mosul, the de facto capital of ISIS in Iraq.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - France said on Tuesday it was deploying artillery to Iraq and readying its aircraft carrier for deployment to reinforce foreign military support for the Iraqi army's expected push to recapture Mosul, the de facto capital of ISIS in Iraq.

The Iraqi army and its elite units have gradually taken up positions around the city 400 km (248 miles) north of Baghdad, with international coalition forces keen to capitalise on the militant group's loss of territory in both Iraq and Syria.

"We decided to bolster our support of the Iraqi forces this Autumn with the aim of recapturing Mosul," French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told a gathering of defence and military officials in Paris.

"At this very moment, artillery is arriving close to the front line," Le Drian said, adding that the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier would soon leave for the Middle East.

French defence officials declined to give details on the nature of the artillery.

It was from Mosul's Grand Mosque in 2014 that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdad declared a caliphate spanning regions of Iraq and Syria.

France is a member of the US-led coalition that has been conducting air raids against purported positions held by the ISIS Takfiri terrorist group in Iraq since August 2014. The aerial assaults, however, have failed to disband the extremists.

The Iraqi army is gearing up for an offensive in late September to purge ISIS from Mosul, the last remaining bastion for the terror group in the north of the country. The Iraqi army and its allies have gradually taken up positions around the city over the past few weeks.



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