Protests as France's Hollande calls on UK to join Syria campaign

2015-11-28 12:07
French president Francois Hollande delivers a speech during the French ambassadors' conference. (Christophe Ena, AFP)

French president Francois Hollande delivers a speech during the French ambassadors' conference. (Christophe Ena, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - French President Francois Hollande has urged British MPs to back an air campaign against the Islamic State group in Syria, as thousands prepared to march in London Saturday to oppose the plans.

Hollande made the appeal after a tribute to the 130 victims of the Paris attacks, during which he vowed to destroy the "army of fanatics" behind the violence that rocked the French capital two weeks ago.

"On November 13, a day we will never forget, France was hit at its very heart," Hollande told a sombre commemoration in the Invalides, the 17th-century complex housing Napoleon's tomb on Friday.

"To all of you, I solemnly promise that France will do everything to destroy the army of fanatics that committed these crimes," he said.

Speaking later at the Commonwealth summit in Malta, where he flew after the ceremonies in Paris, Hollande called on British lawmakers to support France's intervention in Syria.

"I can only call on all British members of parliament, in solidarity with France but, above all, conscious of the fight against terrorism, to approve this intervention," he said.

Hollande has already been backed by Germany, which has offered Tornado reconnaissance jets, a naval frigate, and 650 soldiers to relieve French forces in Mali.

Memories of Iraq

British Prime Minister David Cameron made his case for air strikes to parliament on Thursday ahead of a vote expected next week.

But many MPs are still troubled by the memory of unpopular British interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan under then Labour prime minister Tony Blair.

The Stop the War Coalition - which also led demonstrations against British intervention in Iraq - has organised a major rally in London to protest the move, with thousands expected to march on Downing Street on Saturday afternoon.

"We are calling on all our groups to organise protests in their towns and cities on the same day. We need to resist this brutalising and dehumanising spiral of violence," the group said on a Facebook page to advertise the event.

Spanish activists also called for peace protests on Saturday, with the country still scarred from extremist attacks following its involvement in the Iraq war.

The 2004 attacks saw al-Qaeda-inspired bombers blow up four packed commuter trains and kill 191 people in retaliation for then prime minister Jose Maria Aznar's decision to join the US-led Iraq invasion.

Leading personalities, including Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau and Pilar Manjon, head of an association for victims of Madrid's attacks, have called for nationwide peace protests to denounce the use of further force.

Their online manifesto has been signed by more than 28 000 people and demonstrations are planned in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville and Valencia and other locations.

France has said that all 27 of its EU partners have pledged to help in some way to strike at the Islamic State group, but Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has so far remained evasive on the issue.

The Paris attacks - claimed in response for French air strikes on the jihadists in Iraq and Syria - inflicted the worst-ever toll on French soil, leaving 130 dead and 350 wounded. Most victims were under 35.

Read more on:    isis  |  uk  |  syria  |  france

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.