Paris attack: France is committed to “destroying” IS, Hollande vows

Paris attack: France is committed to
French President, Francois Hollande

France is committed to “destroying” the so-called Islamic State group after Friday’s deadly attacks, President Francois Hollande has said.

Paris attack: France is committed to "destroying" IS, Hollande vows
French President, Francois Hollande

He said he would table a bill to extend the state of emergency declared after the attacks for three months and would suggest changes to the constitution.

France’s military campaign against IS in Iraq and Syria will also intensify.

IS says it carried out the attacks on bars, restaurants, a concert hall and a stadium in which 129 people died.

Speaking during a joint session of both houses of parliament, Mr Hollande said the constitution needed to be amended as “we need an appropriate tool we can use without having to resort to the state of emergency”.

Other measures he said would be pursued included, 5,000 extra police posts in the next two years and no new cuts in the defence budget; making it easier to strip dual nationals of their French citizenship if they are convicted of a terrorist offence, as long as this did not render them stateless; speeding up the deportation of foreigners who pose “a particularly grave threat to the security of the nation” and pushing for greater European action against arms trafficking and greater penalties for it in France.

Mr Hollande said he would travel to meet US President Barack Obama and Russian Vladimir Putin in the coming days to discuss action against the group.

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Paris on Monday evening to show support for “America’s oldest friend” against what he called “psychopathic monsters”.

At a G20 summit in Turkey, world leaders promised tighter co-operation in the wake of the attacks.

Mr Obama said the US and France had made a new agreement on intelligence sharing but said US military advisers thought sending ground troops to combat Isis would be a mistake.

In his address, Mr Hollande reiterated his opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remaining in power but said “our enemy in Syria is Daesh [IS]”.

He promised more resources for the security forces and said the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier would be sent on Thursday to bolster the military campaign against IS.

On Sunday night, French aircraft attacked Raqqa, IS’s stronghold in Syria. French officials said 10 jets had dropped 20 guided bombs targeting sites including a command centre, a recruitment centre for jihadists, a munitions depot and a training camp.

IS has issued a statement saying the raid targeted empty locations and that there were no casualties.

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