French President Francois Hollande announced the country’s retaliation shortly after a series of deadly attacks on its capital city, Paris, shook the nation on the night of November 13th. The president called the attacks on Paris an act of war, and announced the country’s response of bombs against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, who have claimed responsibility for the terrorist acts.
Whispers of the beginning of World War III have been making their way around the globe within the past couple of weeks, and some have speculated that France’s retaliation could be the spark.
“It is an act of war that was committed by a terrorist army, a jihadist army, Daesh, against France,” said President Hollande. “It is an act of war that was prepared, organized, and planned from abroad, with complicity from the inside, which the investigation will help establish.”
Even Pope Francis called the attacks “piecemeal World War III.”
The violence is the worst that Paris has seen since the second world war, with 129 dead and hundreds of others injured after attacks were made on bars, restaurants, a stadium and a concert hall. The country’s state of emergency and closed borders are also a first since World War II, and President Hollande has said that he would table a bill to extend the state of emergency for three months, and would propose changes to the constitution.
“Our democracy has prevailed over much more formidable opponents than these cowardly assassins,” President Hollande said a day after France dropped airstrikes against the self-proclaimed capital of the Islamic State, Raqqa.
The attacks were planned in Syria, organized in Belgium, and carried out in Paris, and officials say they have found who they believe to be the leader: Abdelhamid Abaaoud, from Belgium, who had supposedly mentioned plans to a French citizen returning from Syria about attacking a concert hall.
French authorities have so far carried out 168 raids across France in attempts to prevent future terrorist threats, and the country is now seeking global coalition against the Islamic State.
The president called on The United States and Russia to destroy ISIS. “We must combine our forces to achieve a result that is already too late in coming,” Hollande said.
“France is at war,” Hollande announced to a session of parliament at the Palace of Versailles on Monday. “We’re not engaged in a war of civilizations, because these assassins do not represent any. We are in a war against jihadist terrorism, which is threatening the whole world.”
Although the US-led coalition has been bombing ISIS for a year now, it’s safe to say that this is far from over.
“We know that more attacks are being prepared, not just against France but also against other European cities,” said French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. “We are going to live with this terrorist threat for a long time.”
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that this is just the beginning, and that these actions are going to continue. He also told reporters that French police had made nearly two dozen arrests in 168 raids across France in attempts to prevent future terrorist threats, seizing arms including a rocket launcher and automatic weapons.
Hollande announced his plans to create 5,000 jobs in security forces, to boost prison service staff by 2,500, and avoid cuts to defense spending before the year 2019.