France launched military missions over Islamic State areas in Syria and Iraq Monday from a newly-deployed aircraft carrier as Brussels was locked down for a third day amid fears of a repeat of the Paris terror attacks.
President Francois Hollande met British Premier David Cameron in Paris in an effort to widen an international alliance against the jihadist group as the Charles de Gaulle, stationed in the eastern Mediterranean, went into action.
In Europe’s institutional capital, police in Brussels arrested five more people but Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam remained at large. Schools, public buildings and the metro were closed, with armed police and troops out in force on quiet streets.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel warned late Sunday as he extended the security alert that the city faced a “serious and imminent” threat of attacks similar to those claimed by IS which left 130 people dead across Paris.
Hollande told Cameron that Britain and France had a “joint obligation” to strike at the jihadist group blamed for a series of bloody attacks, including the downing of a Russian airliner in Egypt with the loss of 224 lives.
Top-line French Rafale jets loaded with bombs were catapulted from the flight deck of the 42,500-tonne nuclear-powered carrier as Cameron and Hollande spoke, an AFP reporter onboard saw.