Europe rallies for unified fight against I.S.

Nov 26, 2015, 10:08 AM EST
Flag of European Union
Flag of European Union

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have both asked their respective governments for more robust military support in the form of air strikes against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Those leaders are rallying behind French President Francois Hollande as he makes trips around the world to garner support in facing I.S.-based terrorist activity. Hollande has traveled to Moscow to seek tighter coordination with Russian President Vladimir Putin, having just been to the U.S. to meet with President Obama. Bloomberg quotes Cameron:

“We shouldn’t be content with outsourcing our security to our allies. If we believe that action can help protect us, then we should be with our allies. If we won’t act now, when our friend and ally France has been struck in this way, then our allies in the world can be forgiven for asking: ‘If not now, when?’.”

German officials have relayed that Merkel will be asking the Bundestag to support the deployment of Tornado reconnaissance aircraft to Syria. Reuters writes that Germany has already signaled that it will send "up to 650 additional soldiers to Mali to provide relief to the French and raise the number of army trainers for Kurdish peshmerga fighters operating in northern Iraq by up to 150." 

Putin’s support will be the next step for France — a complicated effort considering the recent tensions between Russia and Turkey over a downed Russian warplane. 

ABC News details how Hollande’s task now is even more difficult than it would have been before the sharp escalation between Russia and Turkey:
Hollande’s difficult task became even more arduous after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border earlier this week. The incident underscored the complex military landscape in Syria, where a sprawling cast of countries and rebel groups are engaged on the battlefield and in the skies overhead, sometimes with minimal coordination.
The French president comes to Moscow with intent to make progress on three priority issues: to prevent Syrian President Bashar Assad from targeting civilians, to focus the airstrikes on IS militants - not the moderate Syrian opposition - and to make progress toward a process of political transition in Syria.