French President Francois Hollande has sensationally blamed the British for the rise of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, according to the Express. He claimed the decision by the House of Commons – encouraged by Labour leader Ed Miliband – to oppose airstrikes on Syria a year ago made the rise of ISIS inevitable.
Hollande said that all hope of replacing Bashar al-Assad as President of Syria had gone out of the window when Britain voted not to bomb. This made it easy for the Syrian extremists in groups like ISIS to take over the revolution.
Ed Miliband had led opposition to the bombing of Syria in a vote last August. David Cameron and most Conservatives had supported the bombing, which is likely to have ended the Assad regime. The bombing had been called for because Assad had used chemical weapons against his own people and there were real concerns about the humanitarian situation in the country.
But the French President was blistering in his view of Britain’s decision not to act: “If, two years ago, we had acted to ensure a transition, we wouldn’t have had Islamic State. If, one year ago, the major powers had reacted to the use of chemical weapons, we wouldn’t have had this terrible choice between a dictator and a terrorist group.”
However the comments of the Socialist President may well be partly as a result of criticism of his own policies towards ISIS. France has been exposed for paying ransoms to ISIS for hostages, this is why French journalists were released whilst James Foley was executed.
This policy of payments is not supported by either Britain or America and both countries believe it undermines the fight against the extremists. It is believed a total of £75m has been paid to ISIS in the last 5 years.
Tory MP Andrew Rosindell, who sits on the respected Foreign Affairs Select Committee, said: “If they are paying ransoms they are harming the interests of the free world and by playing the game of terrorism by paying ransom money they are funding and furthering the cause of ISIS and Al Qaeda.
“The French and the Spanish should really look at themselves in the mirror and ask whether this is the right thing to do.”