Fighting at home and abroad
10 days after a series of terrorist attacks rocked Paris, the city is still in the process of regaining its footing and tracking down the team of extremists who killed 130 people and injured hundreds more. Officials are still attempting to identify a third terrorist involved in the Stade de France bombing, keeping a spotlight on the risks associated with large gatherings. U2 has rescheduled 2 performances cancelled in the wake of the attacks for early December.
Today officials found a suspected explosive belt and a phone associated with the group that allegedly planned the November 13 attacks, and in Brussels, officials are still “on high alert” as law enforcement executes a series of anti-terror raids in a broadened search for suspects.
As the search across Europe continues, the French military has launched its first airstrikes against ISIS from an aircraft carrier. The strikes targeted strategic sites in Iraq, and come as part of French President Francois Hollande’s vow to intensify military action against ISIS in Syria in Iraq.
Warplanes took off from the aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle in the eastern Mediterranean and attacked ISIS targets in Iraq, the French Defense Ministry said.
With the addition of carrier-based aircraft to its fleet attacking ISIS by air, France now has 38 aircraft carrying out bombing raids against the terror group. Their mission Monday was to support Iraqi ground troops fighting ISIS in the Iraqi cities of Ramadi and Mosul, the ministry said.
The French President is pushing to form a multi-national force to fight ISIS after the terror organization claimed responsibility for the November 13 attacks that left 130 dead in Paris.
Hollande will visit Washington to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday, then meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday and travel to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.
Hollande is busy working to convert the outpouring of public and diplomatic support for France into action—which could be difficult, especially when it comes to Russia:
Part of Hollande’s problem is the Americans’ refusal to cooperate militarily with the Russians, whose entry into the Syrian war last month they deplored. Obama agreed a joint approach to rebooting a UN-mediated Syria peace process when he met Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, in Turkey last week. This is a key plank of what Cameron calls a comprehensive strategy to resolve the Syria-Isis conundrum.
But deep disagreement with Moscow remains over the future of Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, a longtime Russian client. On the military front, the prospect of the US conducting joint operations or sharing targeting and intelligence information with Russia, beyond the limited “deconfliction” measures already agreed, is zero.
Is Obama about to be outflanked? Sensing a chance to outmanoeuvre the Americans, Putin, who will host Hollande in Moscow on Thursday, has been busy stressing Russian solidarity with France.
Considering that the future of Assad has served as an unsteady pivot point for relations between the US and Russia, I don’t see this drastically changing the current climate—it’s just one more stumbling block.
We’ll keep you updated as the situation in Europe progresses.DONATE
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