Asharq Al-AwsatParis-France said on Tuesday it was deploying artillery to Iraq to reinforce foreign military support for the Iraqi army’s expected push to recapture Mosul, which it has been occupying since 2014.
“We decided to bolster our support of the Iraqi forces this Autumn with the aim of recapturing Mosul,” French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told a gathering of defense 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, in its third mission against the terrorist organization since January 2015.
French President Francois Hollande had announced it July that Paris was deploying artillery to Iraq and had sent French military experts to handle the artillery.
France has been providing a similar support to the Kurdish Peshmerga forces since the summer of 2014.
Hollande also said that the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier will assist coalition airstrikes against ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria.
Le Drian said on Tuesday that defeating ISIS was just a “matter of time,” adding that its last supply line through Turkey was being gradually cut.
After a series of defeats, the terrorist group is now entrenched in its strongholds of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria.