Reports are coming in that on Monday France will invoke Article 5 of the NATO Mutual Defense Treaty. NATO’s collective defense clause compels all NATO members – including America – to fight alongside France against ISIS.
In response to Friday’s series of coordinated attacks across Paris, French President Francois Hollande declared on Saturday that France would respond with a “pitiless” war against the group responsible. Speaking from the Bataclan, the site of one of the attacks, he stated, “We are going to lead a war which will be pitiless.”
On Sunday, 10 French fighter jets pummeled the ISIS-held city of Raqqa with at least 20 bombs, according to the French defence ministry. Britain’s Mirror reported the jets hit a command and control center, jihadi recruitment center, munitions depot and a training camp.
ISIS is claiming responsibility for the Paris attacks. In an online statement in Arabic and French which authorities say appears to be genuine, the attacks are called a “miracle” carried out by “eight brothers wearing explosive vests and assault rifles.” The statement called Paris the “capital of abomination and perversion.”
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The Guardian reports security analyst Charlie Winter said he has seen huge amounts of ISIS propaganda and he believes the statement is definitely from the group, though it was “put together hastily” and it is not clear whether the attacks that killed 127 people were directly ordered by ISIS or only inspired by the group.
International Business Times notes: “NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday the alliance would stand with France and remain ‘strong and united’ against terrorism. Although France hasn’t announced whether it will invoke Article 5, Stoltenberg told the Journal NATO’s members stand ready to assist. ‘The important thing is we support French authorities in their determination to deal with the terrorist threat,’ he said.”
“The defense clause of NATO’s founding treaty stipulates that if invoked, each of the members will assist the party attacked,” continues IB Times. “NATO’s military resources include more than 3 million troops under arms, 25,000 aircraft and 800 oceangoing warships, according to Foreign Policy. Economically, the alliance is also an intimidating force, representing more than 50 percent of global GDP. … The only time Article 5 has been invoked was after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the New York and Washington, which prompted NATO’s participation in the Afghanistan military mission. Should France become the second country to do so, ambassadors of the 28 nations would need to convene for consultation to determine a plan of action. The last country to request such a consultation was Turkey after attacks by ISIS in 2014.”