France Asks UN to Back 'Merciless' Military Response to Paris Attacks
"Terrorism survives wars, but people don't."
Just days after French President François Hollande vowed a "merciless" response to the Paris attacks, his government on Thursday submitted a resolution for the United Nations Security Council to "take all necessary measures" against ISIS.
The French proposal, which could face a vote as early as Friday, competes with a separate one re-submitted by Russia this week that stipulates the inclusion of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
According to Agence France-Presse, the French proposal does not invoke chapter seven of the UN charter, which authorizes the use of force.
But French officials are clear that the aim is military action.
"The exceptional and unprecedented threat posed by this group to the entire international community requires a strong, united and unambiguous response from the security council," French ambassador, François Delattre, said on Thursday: "This is the goal of our draft resolution, which calls on all member states to take all necessary measures to fight Daesh [also referred to as ISIS]."
According to news outlets that saw the text, it calls for "member states that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures—in compliance with international law, on the territory under the control of [ISIS]—to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts."
It also calls for member states to "intensify their efforts to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters to Iraq and Syria and to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism."
"Resolutions like this can be dangerous," Phyllis Bennis, senior fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, told Common Dreams. "It is important that it is not taken under the terms of chapter seven, but it is implying support for all countries to use military force in ISIS territory, which is heavily populated."
The proposal comes as the U.S.-led military coalition carries out bombings across Iraq and Syria and France and Russia coordinate air strikes across Syria. The U.S. coalition, France, and Russia this week bombed the Syrian city of Raqqa, home to hundreds of thousands of people.
Residents in the city reported earlier this week that bombs struck a soccer stadium, hospital, museum, and government building. The group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silenty, winner of the 2014 International Press Freedom Award, on Friday quoted Raqqa resident Abo Alaa, who said: "the Russian aviation, carried out jointly with the French aviation recently, fierce attack, targeted sites and neighborhoods within the city, contains some of them civilians."
Bennis emphasized that any military force in a crowded city like Raqqa will almost certainly have civilian casualties. "We have been using military force against terrorism for the past 15 years, and it has failed," said Bennis. "That's because terrorism survives wars, but people don't."