Last Friday, November 13, terrorists conducted several attacks in Paris. There were also terrorist attacks the day before in Beirut, Lebanon. In both cases, the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) has assumed responsibility for targeting innocent bystanders in busy, public places. The terrorist group also officially claimed responsibility for the Russian airliner that had been crashed under mysterious circumstances. This week, btw provides some basics and a context for what might happen next.
Two suicide bombers walked into a busy, urban area and detonated bombs, killing 43 people and injuring more than 200 others. A third bomber was killed (possibly by the blast of the second bomber) before detonating his explosives. Six suspects have been arrested in conjunction with the bombing.
The attacks in the French capital city consisted of three suicide bombings and four mass shootings in at least four different locations, including restaurants and a concert at the Bataclan theater, where 89 of the 129 victims were killed. More than 400 people were injured, including some very serious injuried. Seven attackers were also killed, with the eighth suspect still at large.
Tamman Salam, acting President and Prime Minister of Beruit, declared a day of national mourning on November 13. French President Francois Hollande called the attacks on France “an act of war,” and authorized an airstrike on targets in the Syrian city of Raqqa, the self-proclaimed capital of ISIS. The French Defense Ministry announced that the raid, coordinated with the American forces, was made up of 12 aircraft, and targeted a jihadist recruitment center, ammunition center, and a terrorist training camp.
At the time of the attacks, President Obama was attending the Group of 20 summit meeting in Turkey. He was grilled by journalists who continually questioned the effectiveness of his plan to combat the terrorist group and stop their consistent threats. “We have the right strategy and we’re going to see it through,” he said, adding that would take time to cripple the terrorist group.
A Refresher—Who Are ISIS and What Do They Want?
As btw explained earlier this fall, the Islamic State is an outgrowth of the Al Qaeda troops who fought against the U.S. in Iraq. Many of them were Sunnis, who turned to extremist ideology after being shunned following Sadam Hussein ousting from power. The aim of ISIS is to create a form of government from a strict interpretation of Islamic laws based on a particular reading of the Koran (also known as the Quran), Islam’s central religious text.
As lawmakers and world leaders work together to put an end to ISIS, there are many issues to consider. One is the impact of American troops on the group in the Middle East. Some believe it is the only course of action. Others believe it could result in an intensification of the global terrorism problem.
Another issue is the continuing massive flow of Syrian refugees into other countries. Many believe that the countries that have previously agreed to accept refugees from Syria should halt entry. This is because authorities have revealed that at least one of the suspects in the Pairs attacks entered Europe illegally, posing as a Syrian in need of asylum.
To see how you can be a force for change for Syrian refugees coming to the United States, visit the White House page #AidRefugees.