France: US, Russia must join forces; Obama rules out US boots on ground
French President Francois Hollande on Monday called on the United States and Russia to join a global coalition to destroy Islamic State in the wake of the attacks across Paris, and announced a wave of measures to combat terror in France.
“France is at war,” Hollande told a joint session of parliament at the Palace of Versailles, promising to increase funds for national security and strengthen anti-terror laws in response to the suicide bombings and shootings that killed 129.
“We’re not engaged in a war of civilizations, because these assassins do not represent any. We are in a war against jihadist terrorism which is threatening the whole world,” he told a packed, somber chamber.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday ruled out a shift in strategy in the fight against the Islamic State despite the deadly attacks in Paris last week, saying putting U.S. troops on the ground to combat the group “would be a mistake.”
Obama, speaking after a G20 leaders’ summit in Turkey, said the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria would redouble efforts to implement the current strategy rather than moving in a new direction, even as the militants threatened to strike Washington.
“We are going to continue the strategy that has the best chance of working,” Obama told a news conference.
“This is not a traditional military opponent. We can retake territory and as long as we keep our troops there we can hold it. But that does not solve the underlying problem of eliminating the dynamics that are producing these kinds of violent, extremist groups,” he added.
The U.S. president said avoiding sending American troops into Iraq and Syria to take on Islamic State directly “is not just my view, but the view of my closest military and civilian advisers. Read more