France levels ISIS in Raqqa after Paris attack

France is staying true to its promise to wage war on ISIS by dropping bomb after bomb on the terrorist group’s capital of Raqqa. From CNN.

The targets included a command center, a recruitment center, an ammunition storage base and a training camp for the terror group, said Mickael Soria, press adviser for France’s defense minister.
ISIS claims Raqqa as the capital of its so-called caliphate. The airstrikes come two days after a series of terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which France’s President described as “an act of war.”

Twelve aircraft, including 10 fighter jets, were involved in Sunday’s airstrikes, Soria said.

Twenty bombs were dropped, he said, and all of the targets were destroyed.

This goes along with French President Francois Hollande vow to rigorously defend itself after Friday’s attack in Paris. Via CBC News:

Speaking to the country Saturday, Hollande said the attacks were “committed by a terrorist army, the Islamic State group, a jihadist army, against France, against the values that we defend everywhere in the world, against what we are: A free country that means something to the whole planet.”

Hollande said France “will be merciless toward the barbarians of the Islamic State group.” France “will act by all means anywhere, inside or outside the country.”

Good on the French for doing this. It may come as a shock to people here, but I’ve got no problem with France, the Arab League, and Russia obliterating ISIS off the face of the planet. It will be interesting to see if the U.S. decides to team-up with Russia in the ISIS fight, although it doesn’t seem likely. The New York Times reported this afternoon President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin talked face to face for over half an hour on Syria and ISIS. How the talk went depends on the source.

“The conversation lasted approximately 35 minutes and centered around ongoing efforts to resolve the conflict in Syria, an imperative made all the more urgent by the horrifying terrorist attacks in Paris,” an American official said.

But Russian officials described the meeting in less glowing terms, saying that Mr. Obama and Mr. Putin remained at odds over how to achieve those goals

“The strategic goals concerning the battle with ISIS, in principle they are very close to each other,” Yuri V. Ushakov, a foreign policy adviser to Mr. Putin, told reporters. “But on tactics, the two sides are currently diverging.”

This shouldn’t be a shocker to anyone because Putin probably wants Obama to stop going after him for supporting Assad, while Obama holds plenty of enmity towards Putin. These differences may end up hindering any cooperation between the countries until 2017, unless Obama decides to come off his high horse and be willing to compromise. But this is Obama we’re talking about and his version of “compromise” is getting everything he wants. It just seems highly unlikely an agreement will be reached outside of the occasional, “don’t walk over into my side of Syria,” pact America and Russia agreed to last month.

What’s more curious is whether France will start working with Russia in Syria against ISIS. France is part of the coalition pushing for Assad’s ouster, but if the focus is going to be on ISIS itself, then maybe “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” is the best way to go. This is something UK Prime Minister David Cameron seems interested in doing, according to Independent.

“We have our differences with the Russians, not least because they’ve done so much to degrade the non-Isil [Isis] opposition to Assad, people who could be part of the future of Syria.

“But the conversation I want to have with Vladimir Putin is to say, ‘Look, there is one thing we agree about which is we’d be safer in Russia, we’d be safer in Britain if we destroy Isil. That’s what we should be focusing on’.”

He’s going to have a talk with Parliament on getting more involved in Syria. So the world is responding to ISIS and promising to wipe them out. That’s awesome; let them. The quadrillion dollar question is whether all the countries will be able to agree on a strategy. Europe and the Arab League (if they decide to get off their laurels and start fighting ISIS) may have to take a bitter pill and accept Assad until ISIS is destroyed. Russia may have to accept not bombing moderate rebels (if they exist) and actually focus on ISIS. There’s your strategy for destroying ISIS in Syria, if the countries are willing to work together. Which is always easier said than done because everyone has their own goals for the region. It’s nice to see France, Russia, and England vow to take out ISIS. Let them do it by themselves and here’s hoping they succeed.