The bloody terror attacks waged in Paris on Friday has led to an outpouring of worldwide support over the week-end as France comes to grips with the reality of terrorism and prepares to respond to the deadliest attack within its borders since World War II.
The number of dead victims from the Paris terrorist attack stands at 129 with 352 injured and 99 in critical condition.
French Prime Minister Francois Hollande called for a “state of emergency” and promised a “merciless” response to the deadly attacks claimed by Islamic State in retaliation for French military action in Iraq and Syria.
Hollande described the attacks as an “act of war” against France.
Islamic State has recently carried out 3 deadly attacks against soft targets in 3 countries in less than 30 days.
Islamic State is believed to have planted a bomb inside Russian jet flying in Egypt, committed a large scale suicide attack in Lebanon, and now carried out 3 waves of terrorist attacks in Paris with local homegrown support as one of the dead gunmen was French and had ties to Islamist militants.
The Paris attacks are likely to generate a stronger global military response to Islamic State since the U.S. led coalition, with France as a coalition partner, has been unsuccessful in stopping the militaristic Islamic group that now controls swaths of territory across Iraq and Syria and seeks to impose a far reaching caliphate.
Pressure has been building on the Obama administration to provide a more comprehensive military strategy along with its Arab partners to defeat Islamic State by moving beyond air campaigns and supporting moderate opposition groups in Syria.
A $ 500 million U.S. effort over the last 2 years to train moderate Arab opposition groups for combat in Syria has largely failed.
President Obama said in a speech on October 30th that he is ordering 50 U.S. special forces to coordinate with local ground forces in northern Syria to fight Islamic State militants.
The Pentagon reported yesterday that on Friday, the U.S. military conducted an airstrike in Libya against Abu Nabil, aka Wissam Najm Abd Zayd al Zubaydi, an Iraqi national who was a longtime al Qaeda operative and the senior ISIL leader in Libya and may also have been the primary spokesman in the February 2015 Coptic Christian execution video.
The U.S. airstrike was the first against an Islamic State leader in Libya and was authorized prior to the terrorist attack in Paris.
U.S. officials reported last week that they are reasonably certain that “Jihadi John” the ruthless British terrorist, who appeared in many video taped Islamic State beheadings, had died in a drone attack.