Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Paris Clause

From USA Today:
"France demands EU invoke mutual-defense clause"
France became the first European Union country to request the 28-nation political bloc's mutual-defense clause be invoked to secure it in the wake of the Paris attacks that killed at least 129 people.
Jean-Yves Le Drian, France's defense minister, made the demand in Brussels on Tuesday. He said that other EU member nations should help the security situation by "either by taking part in France's operations in Syria or Iraq, or by easing the load or providing support for France in other operations."
The clause — article 42.7 of the Treaty on European Union — says that "if a member state is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other member states shall have toward it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power." The article has never before been used. The demand received unanimous support.  However the implications and timing of any EU-wide effort to act on the clause were not immediately clear. Ursula von der Leyen, Germany's defense minister, said in Brussels that Germany would do "all in our power to offer help and support" but that Tuesday was "not a day of concrete actions" but a "day of listening." Earlier Tuesday, France launched additional airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on as police conducted dozens of new raids overnight and the government said it was still trying to determine how militants planned and carried out the attacks in Paris. The French military said the new airstrikes targeted an Islamic State — also known as ISIL or ISIS — command post and training camp in Raqqa, Syria. The operation came after an earlier retaliatory strike by France in Raqqa on Sunday. Following a meeting with French President Francois Hollande, Secretary of State John Kerry said efforts must be stepped up to hit militants "at the core" when they are planning attacks. "We’ve agreed even to exchange more information, and I’m convinced that over the course of the next weeks, (ISIL) will feel even greater pressure," he said.
Meanwhile, the manhunt intensified for Belgian-born Salah Abdeslam, thought to be the only surviving suspect out of the three groups of suicide bombers and gunmen who carried out Friday's attacks on popular restaurants, a music hall and a soccer stadium.  France's Prime Minister Manuel Valls told French TV on Tuesday that his country's intelligence services have identified at least 10,000 radicalized people in France. "We will have to live with this threat for a long time. We are faced with determined terrorists willing to die. We must all be aware we can be attacked again," he said. Valls told France Inter radio that some victims have yet to be identified, and said that authorities still did not know enough about the attacks outside the national stadium. In another interview with French TV, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that 115,000 police officers and military personnel were mobilized across France. He said that nearly 130 raids and searches across France took place from Monday night to Tuesday morning. He said “the majority of those who were involved in this attack were unknown to our services.” A few dozen people have so far been detained by police in Belgium, France and Germany in connection with the attacks, suspected of having been masterminded by Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 27, from Belgium. His whereabouts are unknown. He may be in Syria. Secretary of State John Kerry held talks with President Francois Hollande. Kerry said that ISIL was under pressure and losing territory. Hollande will travel to Washington next week to discuss the unfolding security situation with President Obama.
^ I wonder just what the EU member-states will do now. They tend to be very torn on every mundane issue and now are faced with a major one. ^


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