'France is at war': Hollande

Francois Hollande reaffirms that 'France is at war' in a speech before a gathering of the country’s mayors in Paris

'France is at war': Hollande

World Bulletin / News Desk

French President Francois Hollande has rejected calls to blame Friday's deadly attacks on the refugee crisis, adding that his country was still going to accept 30,000 refugees in the next two years.

Hollande was speaking Wednesday before a gathering of the country’s mayors in Paris following the raid north of Paris related to Friday's attacks, in which two suspects were killed and seven others arrested. 

"Some people have wanted to link the influx of refugees from the Middle East and the terrorist threat against our nation," said Hollande. "That link exists, since those people are from Iraq and Syria live in areas controlled by ISIL and are tormented by those who attack us nowadays."

"30,000 refugees will be received over the next two years. Our country has the duty to respect its commitment," he added.

The French president pointed out the current "security checks of refugees " set by European countries and said his country supported those checks and added that police are engaged in "enhancing control of our [French] borders". 

Following Friday's attacks that claimed the lives of 129 people, a Syrian passport was found near one of the suicide bombers near the Stade de France, just north of Paris. 

A French prosecutor said the fingerprints from the attacker matched those of someone who passed through Greece in October but added that the passport was yet to be authenticated.

U.K. newspaper The Guardian reported on Monday that Serbian police had arrested a man carrying a Syrian passport with the same details as the one found near the body of one of the Paris suicide bombers.

"Our duty of humanity towards refugees is consistent with the duty to protect the French people," he said.

- France at war

Hollande also reaffirmed "France is at war". 

Two suspects, including a woman who reportedly blew herself up, were killed and seven people were arrested in an operation linked to Friday's attacks, in a police raid at an apartment in Saint-Denis, a suburb in northern Paris, Wednesday morning.

"The anti-terror operation in Saint Denis confirms that we are at war," said Hollande.

He sought the support of the cities' mayors, asking for the deployment of thousands more security forces in France's communes and extra security checks of people and vehicles.

"Under the state of emergency, close consultation between police and mayors is needed," he said 

He defended the "temporary restrictions on freedom" but said it was vital they were eventually restored, adding: "France will remain a country of movement."

The French leader said his country's operations in Syria had "intensified". "They will continue as long as necessary," he added.

France launched on Tuesday night, for the third consecutive day, airstrikes against ISIL in Raqqa, Syria since Friday's attacks.

Hollande called on the international community to set aside diverging national interests and join a grand coalition against ISIL.

"I call on the entire international community to take its part in what can only be a common task: to destroy ISIL," he said. "The international community must rally around that spirit. I know very well that each country doesn't have the same interests."

Hollande will travel to Washington later this month to meet U.S. President Barack Obama before traveling to Moscow to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The leaders will discuss the fight against ISIL and the Syrian conflict in the Nov. 24 and 26 meetings.

The French leader has said the Paris attacks that killed 129 people so far, and injured more than 350, were carried out by ISIL. The Syria-based group later claimed responsibility.

Paris attacks are the deadliest on European soil since the 2004 Madrid train bombings killed 191.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Kasım 2015, 17:59