UPDATE AFTER THE BUMP:
The aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and its battle group likely received its final sailing orders before French President Francois Hollande publicly declared that Friday evening’s savage attack by ISIS terrorists in Paris was “an act of war.” They had already been scheduled to go, but events justified otherwise. There was a reason ISIS targeted France as it is the French who have been doing the heavy lifting. From Ian Black writing for the Gaurdian:
France’s policy towards the war in Syria has been more forward than any other western country. It was early in calling for President Bashar al-Assad to step down, still insists he must go, and recently joined airstrikes inside Syria against the Islamic State – unlike the UK, which has not taken that step.
The Isis claim of responsibility for Friday’s Paris attacks referred directly to French aircraft “striking Muslims in the lands of the caliphate”
Earlier this week, French warplanes attacked oil and gas installations in the Deir ez-Zor area, describing this as part of an effort to destroy Isis infrastructure and undermine its financial resources.
The French obviously have been hurting them in air strikes from the UAE. Certainly more that the US and the feckless policy of US President Barack Obama. The Charles de Gaulle will leave Toulon on Wednesday and reportedly will be there by December. It won’t take that long.
Secretary of State John Kerry spoke briefly of the horrific attack then moved on to the hopeless talks in Brussels about a ceasefire in Syria as if it’s somehow the proper response to an ISIS massacre on the streets of our oldest ally. At least he didn’t trot out James Taylor to sing “You’ve Got a Friend.”
Some how a better response from the US and the Russians, too, would be for them to heed France’s request to “close your air space” when the Charles de Gaulle is in position to coordinate with its air units in the United Arab Emirates to make what Hollande promises to be a “pitiless” response.
UPDATE from ABC News:
French jets began bombing ISIS targets in eastern Syria tonight, according to France’s defense ministry, hours after the country’s national police launched an international manhunt for a “dangerous” suspect wanted for involvement in the Paris attacks.
The French Ministry of Defense said it targeted a command post and a terrorist training camp, dropping 20 bombs on ISIS’s de facto capital in Raqqa, Syria. The first target included a command post, jihadist recruiting center and a weapons warehouse, the ministry said.
Ten French fighter jets were launched simultaneously from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan in an operation carried out in coordination with U.S. military command, the French Defense Ministry said.