EU President: ‘Words Are Not Enough’ from Global Leaders in Terror Fight

World leaders offering to unite with France to fight terrorism. US, French, Israeli, Canadian flags. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

World leaders offering to unite with France to fight terrorism. US, French, Israeli, Canadian flags. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Major world leaders have been expressing their sympathies to France after the series of shocking terror attacks in Paris by ISIS (ISIL), but the French leadership is looking for more from those heads of state. “Words are not enough. Today, it is time to act,” said European Union President Donald Tusk in an EU press release.

“I have spoken to [French] President [Francois] Hollande who was clear that France expects deeds.” Tusk further noted that those deeds cannot be limited to information sharing and stopping terrorist financial transactions. “It is also about operations on the ground, such as in Syria,” said Tusk, indicating the global response will need to involve weapons and not just microphones or police actions.

The Syrian civil war has now reached deep into the West, raising questions about the West’s involvement in that civil war. The complicated fight involves a brutal Syrian dictator battling both moderate opposition groups and extremely radical terror groups such as ISIS. Tusk sought to clarify who the enemy is.

“We need to state one thing clearly. It was not the moderate Syrian opposition that carried out the attacks in Paris. It was the so-called Islamic State or Da’esh. I will appeal to… [world] leaders to concentrate their actions on Da’esh. They are the real enemy of the free world, not the moderate Syrian opposition.”

This could create a new alliance between the West and Russia in the Syrian fight. Previously, increased Russian military involvement in Syria—which is believed to be more about supporting the Syrian regime than battling ISIS—has been critiqued by the United States, who is battling ISIS as well.

But after the Paris attacks, Russia was quick to imply the two sides need to join together. Said Putin in a telegram to French President Hollande that was posted on the President of Russia website: “This tragedy is additional proof of the barbaric nature of terrorism that is posing a challenge to human civilization. It is obvious that to counter this evil effectively the entire international community needs to truly join efforts.”

Russia wasn’t the only nation that offered its services. US President Barack Obama, according to a press statement on the White House website, said that in a call with Hollande they “pledged to work together, and with nations around the world, to defeat the scourge of terrorism.”

Israel, one nation all too familiar with the fight against Middle Eastern terrorism, sent their own offers of assistance. “I’ve instructed Israel’s security and intelligence forces to assist their French counterparts and their counterparts from other European countries in any way possible,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in comments released by his office.

“I call on the entire civilized world to unite to defeat the plague of worldwide terrorism. An attack on any one of us should be seen as an attack on all of us.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, November 15, 2015)


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