The French Navy’s Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier has been deployed in the Gulf to take part in a campaign against Islamic State (IS) in Iraq.
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said: "This is a strong political signal that reinforces the determination of France to overcome this barbarism Daech (IS) represents."
France launched Operation Chammal in September 2014, to support the US-led coalition against the group.
The Charles de Gaulle strike group includes an attack submarine, a French anti-aircraft frigate and HMS Kent, a British anti-submarine frigate, and 2,000 sailors on the carrier.
Following the completion of its operations in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, the carrier arrived in the Gulf earlier this month to provide air support to Iraqi forces.
France has nine Rafale and six Mirage fighters operating in Iraq from bases in Jordan and the UAE, as well as a maritime patrol and refuelling aircraft.
Approximately 100 reconnaissance missions and the same number of strike raids have been conducted by French warplanes in Iraq since mid-September, the Guardian reported.
The US and coalition fighters, bombers and surveillance aircraft have been flying daily missions over Iraq since August. The mission has also been expanded to Syria.
Image: The carrier arrived in the Gulf earlier this month to provide air support to Iraqi forces. Photo: courtesy of Staff of the Armed ETtat / Navy.