On Monday, the French government stepped up its military engagement in Syria and Iraq against Islamic State as its Air Force pounded the ISIS stronghold and self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa on Sunday.
The French Air Force used 10 fighter jets to target ISIS headquarters in Raqqa, dropping 20 bombs in what appears to be a retaliation to the ISIS-coordinated attacks in Paris on Friday. The main target of the air strike was an ISIS munitions depot and one of its training camps.
“The raid, including 10 fighter jets, was launched simultaneously from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. Twenty bombs were dropped,” French Defense Ministry said.
France, along with the US, has been a part of the allied forces fighting against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or Islamic State of Levant, in Syria and Iraq. The Paris attacks were ISIS’s revenge for France’s contribution to the war against Islamic State.
One of attackers of the Paris mayhem has been identified as Ismael Omar Mostefai. French authorities have not given the identification of any other attackers, however, the French media is naming two more attackers as Bilal Hadfi and Ibrahim Abdeslam.
French authorities have further expanded their search for the perpetrators and are currently looking for one of the aiders, Saleh Abdselem. He has been identified as the accomplice of the group that attacked on Friday who rented the cars to the group when they arrived in the city. Two of the cars were hired in Brussels. Salah Abdselem was also living in Brussels but is a French national.
Salah was stopped by border authorities for questioning on the French-Belgian border, but the culprit managed to slip through their fingers. He has been publicized by the media as “Dangerous” along with his photo.
The attacks were planned well in advance and, according to the early investigations, the team mobilized from outside France.
“The abject attacks that hit us on Friday were prepared abroad and mobilized a team in Belgium that benefited … from help in France,” French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told the media after a meeting with his Belgian counterpart in Paris.
The Paris attacks that killed 132 people, including the 3 who succumbed to their wounds on Sunday, have been dubbed as the worst attacks in France since the World War II. Investigators have identified foreign help under the veil of the current uncontrolled influx of migrants from ISIS-controlled Iraq and Syria seeking refuge in several European countries.
The argument on the accommodation of the influx of refugees to European countries has resurfaced in the wake of the Paris incidents. The opposing parties are calling for a complete shutdown at the borders in the light of the recent events.
The Bavarian government has also asked German Chancellor Angela Merkel to revise her “Open Door” policy to the Middle Eastern migrants.
“The days of uncontrolled immigration and illegal entry can’t continue just like that. Paris changes everything,” Bavarian finance minister Markus Soeder told the media.
France declared three days of mourning in memory of the deceased. Vigils and makeshift memorials filled with flowers have been established by the French people.