Hollande vows to destroy IS after Paris attacks
Paris : French President Francois Hollande has vowed to destroy the Islamic State group after its atrocities in Paris, promising tough new anti-terror measures at home and intensified bombing of Syria.
France and Belgium staged dozens of raids yesterday on suspected extremists as the manhunt continued for an eighth jihadist, including in a known radical hotspot in Brussels where some of the attackers are thought to have lived.
Describing the coordinated attacks that killed 129 people as “acts of war,” Hollande urged a global fightback to crush IS and said he would hold talks with his US and Russian counterparts on a new offensive.
Friday’s “acts of war… were decided and planned in Syria, prepared and organised in Belgium (and) perpetrated on our soil with French complicity,” Hollande told an extraordinary meeting of both houses of parliament in Versailles.
“The need to destroy Daesh (IS) … concerns the entire international community,” he told lawmakers, who burst into an emotional rendition of the Marseillaise national anthem after his speech.
Hollande said the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle would be deployed to the eastern Mediterranean to “triple our capacity to take action” against IS in Syria.
“We will continue the strikes in the weeks to come … There will be no respite and no truce,” he said.
On the domestic front, Hollande called for an extension of the state of emergency by three months and announced 8,500 new police and judicial jobs to help counter terrorism.
A government source told AFP that those returning from Syria could be placed under house arrest and said the presidency was considering amending the constitution to allow for tougher security measures.
With emotions running high, thousands paused in the streets of Paris for a minute’s silence to remember those killed at nightspots and at the national stadium in the worst-ever attack on French soil.
Investigators identified two more extremists involved in the assault, including a Frenchman previously charged with planning a terror attack and a suicide bomber found with a Syrian passport, which has yet to be authenticated.
As indications grew of a Belgian connection, today’s Belgium-Spain football friendly was cancelled because of security concerns after Belgium raised its terrorist threat level to severe.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking at a G20 conference in Turkey, said the attacks proved the need for an international anti-terror coalition.
“I spoke about this at the United Nations… and the tragic events that followed have confirmed that we were right,” he said.