On Monday, French President François Hollande declared at the parliament meeting that France is at war with those responsible for the recent attack in Paris. Additionally, President Hollande wants to establish an updated version of “exceptional measures” that would grant the government additional emergency powers under martial law. Many are comparing these proposals to the Patriot Act that was issued by former United States President George W. Bush following 9/11.
President Hollande says that he wants to extend the current state of emergency in France by three months. He also stated that he wants to make changes to the French constitution that would permit the government to revoke the citizenship of any convicted terrorists with dual nationality, including those born in France. Under current policies, only naturalized citizens who were born outside of France can lose their French citizenship.
Additionally, President Hollande is proposing new measures to quicken the expulsion of foreign individuals who are considered a threat to public safety, and he wants budget increases and extra recruitment to security forces.
Meanwhile, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has said that 115,000 security personnel have been mobilized for the purpose of ensuring French security. These security forces have been deployed across France to conduct raids on any suspicious activity. Furthermore, President Hollande activated a clause within the European Union Treaty that will allow member nations to assist France, using any means necessary. This clause has never been used before.
The French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is currently being deployed to the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Additionally, French fighter jets have attacked the ISIS stronghold in the Syrian city of Raqqa for the second consecutive day. Residents of Raqqa have said that the last two nights have been “insane”.
However, at least one activist has claimed that the French aren’t really doing much, and the real damage has been conducted almost entirely by the Russians. Indeed, reports have indicated that virtually all the damage is being caused by Russia, while the French are merely targeting unoccupied buildings.
Residents in the city have said that their water and electricity have been cut off. So far, there have been no reports of any civilian casualties or injuries in the airstrikes.
Last week, airstrikes conducted by Russian forces destroyed one of the main bridges in Raqqa. Many hospitals in the city have also been destroyed. That being said, some of the most important bases of ISIS have not been targeted. Many refugees have already fled the city in order to seek asylum in Europe. The residents who have remained in Raqqa are basically at the mercy of ISIS.