France is again in the eye of the storm.
It’s been a long year since the attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in the center of Paris. A long year in which France was diplomatically and militarily trying to help relieve oppression by speaking out against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
The details of Friday’s simultaneous attacks across Paris and claims of responsibility are yet to emerge and be analyzed. But attackers in the Bataclan concert hall, three of which were killed by activating their suicide vests and one shot by police, were reportedly heard saying that this was payback for France's involvement in Syria.
France was not flying more air sorties targeting ISIS than the U.S., Russia or those declared by the Syrian regime. France's air force started its active pursuit of ISIS leaders in Syria last September, long after many of its Arab and Western allies.
The latest Paris attacks are another warning to France to change its stance, to relinquish its values of standing with the weak and the oppressed against their oppressorMohamed Chebarro
But yes, France has been active in calling to find an end to the Syrian crisis ever since the Syrians rebelled and called for the removal of the regime more than four years ago.
France has been instrumental in its defense of the Syrian people, at least in building pressure and saying that it was morally wrong to leave the Syrian people to choose between living under ISIS or the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Only Paris remained focused and courageous enough to point out repeatedly that to eradicate ISIS, it is obligatory to remove Assad.
Meanwhile, to weaken ISIS in Iraq, the French belief was that more pressure should be applied on Iran's regime to stop fanning the flames of sectarianism in the fractured country.
France foreign minister was repeatedly pointing in the direction of Iran’s meddling in the affairs of Arab states. It was clear to French policy makers that wherever Iran meddled, ISIS or al-Qaeda emerged as a threat or main player in the given state.
The latest Paris attacks are another warning to France to change its stance, to relinquish its values of standing with the weak and the oppressed against their oppressor. It is as President Obama said; it was an attack on the values of France which of course are too dear for the French to relinquish.
It is very early to analyze as who and what will claim responsibility, but clearly these agents of death have been busy traveling from the Middle East to corners of the globe, in an effort to spread violence and to pressure governments.
The attack was clearly a carefully developed plan aimed to kill the values that France upholds so dearly in our world today, and especially in the Middle East regarding Syria. Those values are liberty, equality and fraternity.
Mohamed Chebarro is currently an Al Arabiya TV News program Editor. He is also an award winning journalist, roving war reporter and commentator. He covered most regional conflicts in the 90s for MBC news and later headed Al Arabiya’s bureau in Beirut and London.
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