British navy warship HMS Defender to support French aircraft against IS


London: Britain’s royal navy warship HMS Defender will support the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group, the British Ministry of Defense announced on Wednesday.

The ship will provide air defense cover for the French carrier to tackle Islamic State (ISIL), according to the ministry.

IS claimed responsibility for a series of terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13 that killed at least 129 people.

In a statement, British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said: “France is firmly resolved in its determination to tackle ISIL and we need to help too.”

“This barbaric terrorist organization must be destroyed, and it’ s right that we offer all the support we can to confront them,” he added.

Fallon said ISIL was “a threat to our security in the UK, as well as to France and the rest of Europe.”

“We will consider any further requests for support from France under Article 42.7 of the EU Treaty following Friday’s Paris terror attacks,” he stressed.

HMS Defender, which sailed from Portsmouth last month for a nine-month deployment, has a ship’s company of 230 and commissioned on 21 March 2013, the MoD said.

The warship is “capable of carrying out a wide range of operations, including anti-piracy and anti-smuggling activities, disaster relief work, and surveillance operations as well as high intensity warfare,” the ministry noted.

HMS Defender is the fifth of the British Royal Navy’s six Type 45 Destroyers.