World View: France Launches ‘Massive Attack’ on ISIS – 20 Bombs

The Associated Press

This morning’s key headlines from

  • France launches ‘massive attack’ on ISIS – 20 bombs
  • Beirut wonders why their terror bombing is less important than Paris’s

France launches ‘massive attack’ on ISIS – 20 bombs

International arrest warrant for French citizen Abdeslam Salah, identified by French and Belgian police as a possible perpetrator of the Paris attacks
International arrest warrant for French citizen Abdeslam Salah, identified by French and Belgian police as a possible perpetrator of the Paris attacks

A day after the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh) claimed responsibility for Friday’s terror attack on Paris and France’s president François Hollande called it an “act of war,” France’s warplanes have launched what officials are calling a “massive attack” on an ISIS stronghold in Syria.

The “massive attack” consisted of just 20 bombs dropped on a jihadi recruitment center, training camp and arms depot in Raqqa, the ISIS center. According to an analyst, “These are extremely precise airstrikes that are carried out after exhaustive legal processes required under French and international law.”

However, despite thousands of airstrikes on ISIS by the US-led coalition in the last year, and claims by the Obama administration that ISIS has been “contained,” intelligence analysts say that ISIS is still expanding and growing in strength. They estimate that ISIS gains about 1,000 fighters every month, young jihadists coming from more than 100 countries around the world. It is clear that airstrikes will not “contain” or stop the expansion of ISIS, which is something that analysts have been pointing out since the air campaign began.

ISIS has successfully conducted three major terrorist attacks in the last three weeks: bombings in Beirut and Paris, and the downing of Russia’s Metrojet Flight 9268. Before that, there was a large ISIS terror attack in Ankara, Turkey. As we wrote yesterday, political pressure is growing for retaliation from Europe, America and Russia.

There are increasing demands for Western ground forces to enter Iraq and Syria and fight ISIS. We assume that ISIS will be able to carry out further terrorist attacks and, when the next one comes, the political pressure for ground troops will only grow. As I heard one analyst say, “Boots on the ground eventually is going to happen.” Independent (Ireland) and Sky News and Asia Times

Beirut wonders why their terror bombing is less important than Paris’s

Two coordinated massive suicide bombings on Thursday struck a neighborhood of southern Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon, killing dozens. The neighborhood was a Shia Muslim stronghold of Hezbollah, which was apparently the target. The bombs killed dozens and wounded hundreds, and were obviously designed to inflict as much carnage as possible.

But a day later, the Beirut bombings were completely forgotten internationally, as soon as the Paris bombings occurred. A bombing in Beirut was not nearly as newsworthy as a bombing in Paris. The Paris bombing has been covered in excruciating detail. As I’m typing this, I’m watching 60 Minutes where someone is describing how someone fell off a chair to the floor after being shot. There is no similar coverage for people who fell off chairs in Beirut. (World View attempted to provide some sort of parallel coverage: See “14-Nov-15 World View — Paris and Beirut in shock and anger after massive terrorist attacks”)

Even Facebook is ignoring Beirut. Facebook has a new “Safety Check” feature, where all you have to do is push a button to notify friends and family that you are safe after a terror attack. Facebook activated the feature for Paris, but not for Beirut.

I am reminded of what happened after the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in January. There was worldwide minute-by-minute coverage of the aftermath of the attack, but almost no coverage of huge, horrific rampage in Nigeria that occurred at exactly the same time. ( “10-Jan-15 World View — Up to 2000 Nigeria civilians killed in three-day Boko Haram massacre”.)

The Beirut bombing could turn out to be extremely significant, because it may cause further destabilization in Lebanon. Lebanon already hosts about one million Syrian refugees, in a country of less than four million people. They laugh at the European Union’s apoplexy over receiving a million refugees, but with a population of over 500 million people.

Lebanon security forces have arrested five Syrians and a Palestinian subject in the Beirut bombings. There may be a backlash against Syrian refugees in Lebanon, which could have ripple effects throughout the Mideast.

Even worse, the United Nations World Food Program may have to curtail its food aid to refugees in Lebanon for lack of money. According to Rashid Derbas, Lebanon’s Minister of Social Affairs, “Do you know what could result from such a step? This simply means that 1 million people on Lebanese territory will be pushed to the edge of hunger. Do you know what that means?'” CS Monitor and Reuters and Time

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, France, Paris, François Hollande, Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Raqqa, Beirut, Lebanon, Russia, Metrojet Flight 9268, Ankara, Turkey, Facebook, Safety Check, Charlie Hebdo, Nigeria, Boko Haram, United Nations, World Food Program, Rashid Derbas
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