Hollande calls for grand coalition to defeat ISIS

2015-11-17 11:42
French President Francois Hollande. (Etienne Laurent, AP)

French President Francois Hollande. (Etienne Laurent, AP)

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Paris - French President Francois Hollande has called for a global coalition to eradicate ISIS following the deadly attacks in Paris.

Speaking to members of French parliament at the Palace of Versailles on Monday evening, Hollande said he would meet US President Barack Obama and Russia's Vladimir Putin to "unite our forces to achieve a result that has taken too long".

Beginning his speech with the words "France is at war", Hollande declared "we will defeat terrorism".

Related: Europe anti-refugee rhetoric swells after Paris attacks

ISIS claimed responsibility via statements and videos for Friday's attacks that killed at least 129 people and wounded hundreds more in the French capital.

Politicians from all political parties responded with a standing ovation and by singing the national anthem.

In a show of patriotic defiance, the Eiffel Tower in Paris was lit up in the colours of the French flag.

He said he had ordered air strikes on headquarters of ISIS in the Syrian town of Raqqa overnight and would continue to wage war "mercilessly", sending an aircraft carrier to triple French air power in the region.

The strikes were carried out in coordination with the US.

The US and Russia are conducting separate campaigns in Syria, but Russia's has focused largely on Syrian rebels not alligned with ISIS.

Hollande said France wanted more effective controls of the EU's external borders to avoid a return to national border controls and the dismantling of the 28-nation EU, Reuters news agency reported.

Additional security spending would be needed and France would not let EU budget rules to get in the way, Hollande said.

France will also increase police recruitment and halt previously planned cuts to the army.

Security forces have so far put more than 100 people under house arrest and raided 168 premises since he declared a state of emergency, which he asked parliament to extend for three months.

READ MORE: Syrian refugees in Paris fear backlash after attacks

Arrests and raids have also taken place in Belgium, where a vehicle involved in the attack was rented out and one of the attackers, Salah Abdeslam, was born.

Separately, German police have detained an Algerian man in a refugee reception centre in connection with the attacks in Paris.

The man, detained in the town of Arnsberg in western Germany, is being investigated on suspicion of having told Syrian refugees at the centre in recent days that fear and terror would be spread in Paris.

He is also alleged to have spoken about a bomb. Officials said checks were being made into whether the allegations were credible.

Read more on:    isis  |  francois hollande  |  france  |  paris under attack

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