French PM: We need to ‘annihilate’ ISIS
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Saturday that his country needed to scale up military operations in Syria in order to “annihilate” the Islamic State (ISIS) group, Politico reports.
The comments came hours after ISIS claimed the terrorist attack in Paris in which 129 people were killed.
“Our action in Syria … needs to be extended to annihilate Daesh,” Valls was quoted as having told TF1 television, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.
“The enemy is ISIS,” he declared.
France is currently carrying out airstrikes against ISIS positions in Syria as part of a U.S.-led coalition. But its action so far has been limited compared to much larger-scale American raids, noted Politico.
Warning that France was engaged in a “war” against enemies both at home and abroad, Valls also called for an extension of a state of emergency imposed on Friday and said that authorities would beef up surveillance at home.
“French nationality should be taken away from those who flout the values of the Republic,” he added, hinting at a break with current legislation, which does not allow for nationality stripping.
France continues investigating the attack, and on Saturday night police took into custody the father and brother of a French terrorist linked to the deadly attack on the Bataclan music hall, where 89 people were shot dead when three gunmen wearing suicide vests opened fire on spectators.
Meanwhile in Belgium, police arrested several suspects in Brussels during raids connected to the Paris attacks, including one who was in the French capital at the time of the carnage, Prime Minister Charles Michel said.