Location France France

Hollande proclaimed a war to Islamic state

Following the terrorist attacks of November 13, 2015, the President François Hollande spoke before a joint session of the French Parliament. He announced several new measures in French politics in the Middle East.
First of all he states: “France is at war. The acts committed in Paris and near the Stade de France on Friday evening are acts of war… They are an act of aggression against our country, against its values, against its young people, and against its way of life. They were carried out by a jihadist army, by Daesh… Friday’s acts of war were decided upon, planned and prepared in Syria. They were organized in Belgium and carried out on our soil with French complicity”.
That is why Holland concentrated attention on the fighting against ISIS: “We are facing an organization, Daesh, which has a territorial base, financial resources, and military capabilities. Since the beginning of the year, Daesh’s terrorist army has struck in Paris, Denmark, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Libya. Every day, it massacres and oppresses populations.
That is why the need to destroy Daesh concerns the whole international community”. Hollande asked the Council of Security to adopt a resolution expressing will to combat terrorism.
Hollande described practical steps in the French war on terrorism: “France will step up its operations in Syria. Yesterday I ordered 10 French fighter jets to launch airstrikes on the Daesh stronghold of Raqqa”. This military operation is carried out with US assistance. So the USA has got new ally in its coalition against Islamic state.
Hollande states there are two Middle East countries where France fights terrorism. They are Iraq and Syria. “We are fighting terrorism in Iraq to allow the authorities of that country to restore their sovereignty throughout the entire country, and in Syria, where we are resolutely and tirelessly seeking a political solution, one that does not include Bashar al-Assad. But our enemy in Syria is Daesh.
There is no question of containing it. This organization must be destroyed, both to save the populations of Syria and Iraq, and those of Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey – all the neighboring countries.
But we must do more. Syria has become the largest breeding ground for terrorists that the world has ever known, and the international community — as I have noted more than once — is divided and incohesive. From the outset of the conflict, France has called for this unity, which is so necessary in order to act.
Today, we need more airstrikes, which we will carry out, and more support for those who are fighting Daesh, which we, France, will provide. But we need all those who can really combat this terrorist army to unite as part of a large, single coalition. That is what we are striving for.
In the next few days, I will therefore meet with President Obama and President Putin to unite our forces and to achieve a result which, at this point, has been put off for far too long.
France is speaking to everyone — to Iran, Turkey, the Gulf States.
I have asked the defense minister to take up this matter tomorrow with our European colleagues under article 42 (7) of the Treaty on European Union, the solidarity clause, which states that when one State is attacked, all the Member States shall have the obligation to provide aid and assistance because the enemy is not just France’s enemy, it is Europe’s enemy.
Europe cannot live in the belief that the crises around it have no effect on it. The refugee issue is directly linked to the wars in Syria and Iraq. The inhabitants of those countries, particularly those living in territories controlled by Daesh, are suffering hideously and they are fleeing. They are the victims of this same terrorist system”.
It looks like there is now difference for Hollande now who fights against Islamic state. He claims for unity of all forces involved in Syria conflict. He proposes collaboration both for US led and Russian led coalitions and also looks for support from other EU members. Assad’s regime is not an enemy number one for Hollande now. But he is still constant in his vision of Syria future: there is no place for current government and Assad. This is acceptable for the USA but not acceptable for Russia. Existing differences can be hardly overcome and united coalition against ISIS is not a realistic project. Anyway French position in Syria conflict changed. This circumstance opens new possibilities for international political struggle round Syrian problem.

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