In addition to launching strikes against the Islamic State group and protecting its own territory, France has sent troops to the Sahel region, the Central African Republic, Lebanon, and to several minor theatres. Around 7,000 troops are deployed overseas.
"All member states will be able to contribute in the spirit of their own defence policies and foreign policies," said Federica Mogherini, who seemed to downplay the operational implications of the decision. "It is, first of all, a political act, a political message."
Signaling a policy shift towards Russia, he added that he would soon meet Russian president Vladimir Putin. Until now, France had opposed the anti-terror coalition proposed by Putin.
On Tuesday the Russian air force bombed the IS stronghold of Raqqa,where the French had already struck twice on Sunday and Monday evening, as well as in Alep and Idlib.