France Holds Summit Urging ‘Global’ Fight Against Islamic State Militants

French President François Hollande said the Islamic State group is a global threat, which requires a global response, in his opening remarks at an international summit in Paris aimed at countering the militant group. The conference, chaired by Hollande and Iraqi President Fuad Masum, gathered foreign ministers from about 26 countries, which pledged to help ...

ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images
ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images
ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images

French President François Hollande said the Islamic State group is a global threat, which requires a global response, in his opening remarks at an international summit in Paris aimed at countering the militant group. The conference, chaired by Hollande and Iraqi President Fuad Masum, gathered foreign ministers from about 26 countries, which pledged to help Iraq fight Islamic State militants "by any means necessary." Masum urged world powers to pursue the militants "wherever they are." On Monday, France began carrying out surveillance flights in Iraq, joining Britain, in support of the U.S. air campaign. The summit has come after the United States announced several Arab counties had offered to join in conducting airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. Prime Minister David Cameron on Sunday said Britain would take "whatever steps are necessary" to combat the threat of extremists after a video was released showing the execution of British aid worker David Haines. Meanwhile, a day after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered the air force to halt shelling of civilian areas in towns held by Islamic State militants, government forces shelled a hospital in Falluja.

Headlines

Dozens of people have drowned after a ship carrying 250 migrants, mostly from Africa, capsized off the coast of Libya, though 36 of the passengers have so far been rescued. An Egyptian court has released on bail prominent activist Alaa Abdel Fatah and two others facing a retrial after being sentenced to 15 years in prison for violating a controversial protest law. Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni has accused Qatar of sending three military planes carrying weapons to Tripoli's airport, which was overtaken in August by Misratan militias. The Israeli military has threated disciplinary action against a group of 43 veterans and active reservists of the elite intelligence unit, Unit 8200, that is protesting surveillance of Palestinians.

French President François Hollande said the Islamic State group is a global threat, which requires a global response, in his opening remarks at an international summit in Paris aimed at countering the militant group. The conference, chaired by Hollande and Iraqi President Fuad Masum, gathered foreign ministers from about 26 countries, which pledged to help Iraq fight Islamic State militants "by any means necessary." Masum urged world powers to pursue the militants "wherever they are." On Monday, France began carrying out surveillance flights in Iraq, joining Britain, in support of the U.S. air campaign. The summit has come after the United States announced several Arab counties had offered to join in conducting airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. Prime Minister David Cameron on Sunday said Britain would take "whatever steps are necessary" to combat the threat of extremists after a video was released showing the execution of British aid worker David Haines. Meanwhile, a day after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered the air force to halt shelling of civilian areas in towns held by Islamic State militants, government forces shelled a hospital in Falluja.

Headlines

  • Dozens of people have drowned after a ship carrying 250 migrants, mostly from Africa, capsized off the coast of Libya, though 36 of the passengers have so far been rescued.
  • An Egyptian court has released on bail prominent activist Alaa Abdel Fatah and two others facing a retrial after being sentenced to 15 years in prison for violating a controversial protest law.
  • Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni has accused Qatar of sending three military planes carrying weapons to Tripoli’s airport, which was overtaken in August by Misratan militias.
  • The Israeli military has threated disciplinary action against a group of 43 veterans and active reservists of the elite intelligence unit, Unit 8200, that is protesting surveillance of Palestinians.

Arguments and Analysis

To Stop ISIS in Syria, Support Aleppo‘ (Jean-Marie Guéhenno and Noah Bonsey, The New York Times)

"Though Western attention is drawn to Iraq, it is Syria that has witnessed the most significant ISIS gains since June. It is Aleppo, Syria’s largest metropolitan area, that presents ISIS’ best opportunity for expanding its claimed caliphate. An effective strategy for halting, and eventually reversing, ISIS’ expansion should begin there, and soon.

Stopping ISIS requires addressing the problems that enabled its rise. Among other factors, like lax Turkish border controls, ISIS has profited from the sectarian politics and indiscriminate military tactics of autocrats in Baghdad and Damascus. With Iranian support, these leaders have worked systematically to prevent the emergence of credible, moderate Sunni alternatives."

In the U.S. Fight Against, ISIS, Gulf Dictators Are Welcome‘ (Erin Kilbride, Muftah)

"Brutal crackdowns on dissent and widespread human rights abuses have strained U.S.-Gulf relations in the three years following the uprisings of 2011. But in the face of IS, the United States appears to be reifying its reliance on long standing friends in the Gulf, leaving one to wonder just how far governments like Bahrain or Saudi Arabia can go with their human rights violations before being stripped of the title ‘U.S. ally.’"

Dozens killed in Tripoli suburb under siege‘ (Tom Stevenson, Al Monitor)

"The attack on the Warshefana tribe is part of a wider struggle for supremacy that is taking place across Libya between various feuding factions defined by regional identity, pragmatic alliances and, occasionally, ideology.

‘There are ideological justifications given for the violence against Warshefana, as in the rest of Libya, but there are also pragmatic underpinnings to this attack,’ said Claudia Gazzini, a Libya analyst at the International Crisis Group.

‘The attack on Warshefana began as a criminal operation by Zawiyan forces who believed elements of the Warshefana were essentially a criminal gang and should be held accountable. It was supposed to be an anti-gangster operation,’ she told Al-Monitor.

‘This attack is also part of a struggle that is about winning and eliminating enemies. But it is not only a struggle for power, it is also a struggle for survival between these groups that is playing out nationally,’ she said."

— Mary Casey

<p>Mary Casey-Baker is the editor of Foreign Policy’s Middle East Daily Brief, as well as the assistant director of public affairs at the Project on Middle East Political Science and assistant editor of The Monkey Cage blog for the Washington Post. </p> Twitter: @casey_mary

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