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Intensified war in Syria and increased confusion in EU: political results of terror attacks in Paris

The terror attack that shook Paris on November 13 evening could not but have political consequences. Yet, it must be admitted that such consequences are not always programmed by organizers of terror attacks. Results of terror attacks can be used by quite different forces.  It is not hard to guess that the terror attack in Paris was carried out amid the efforts to determine the ceasefire terms in Syria. So far, the following direct results of the bloody assaults by terrorists in Paris are being observed. President Francois Hollande blamed the Islamic State (IS) for the terror attacks in Paris calling it an act of war. Meantime, it is still not clear if the organization that calls itself IS and controls a significant part of the territory of Syria and Iraq is responsible for the Paris attacks or there are any autonomous groups of jihadists obeying IS behind those attacks. The French investigation is now pointing specifically at Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a militant from Syria, as the Paris attacks ‘mastermind.’ Abaaoud lived in Brussels, while the suicide bombers were French citizens.

A direct reference to Syria means intensification of the war in that country.  Those who looked to escalate the conflict assume that France is not Spain that had immediately pulled back its troops from Iraq after the railway terror attacks in March 2004 with nearly as many victims as in Paris attacks. It is evident that France will not capitulate. It must retaliate to Jihadists and must do it in Syria.

In January 2013,  France intervened with the conflict in Mali to stop the advancement of the local Islamists to the capital of the country. Mali is a former French colony. Syria is a former mandated territory of France (1922-1941). France has demonstrated that it can assume the responsibility for the fight against terrorists on the territory of its former colonies.

In August 2013, President Hollande was a steadfast advocate of the intervention into Syria jointly with U.S. Now, France participates – with quite limited forces – in the U.S.-led military coalition in the Middle East against IS.  Six Rafale fighter jets are deployed in UAE, with another six fighter jets Mirage being in Jordan. On November 4, nine days before the Paris attacks, France declared that it sent Charles De Gaulle nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to increase its military operation against IS. It was evident that France increased its involvement in the Syrian conflict. The terror attack whipped that involvement. Yet not so long ago, the French air forces bombed only IS targets in Iraq, except for some isolated incidents. Now, immediately after the terror attacks in Paris, France launched large-scale attack on the IS targets, the positions of Jihadists in the area of the Islamic State’s informal capital Raqqa in Syria, for the first time last weekend.  Actually, the first result of the terror attacks in Paris is France’s growing involved in the Syrian conflict.

The terror attack in Paris coincided with such important events to manage the middle East crisis as the talks on Syria in Vienna and G20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey. As for the Vienna talks, the terror attacks in Paris gave the very criterion to differentiate the “moderate opposition” and anti-West jihadists among the Islamists waring against President Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria – Russia has been trying to get that from the West for two months.  Now, the groups of militants that condemn the Paris attacks are inherently considered as  “moderate opposition”.  Representatives of U.S., Russia, UK, France, Iran, and Saudi Arabia signed a statement in Vienna, wherein they set a deadline - Jan 1 2016 - for Bashar Al-Assad and the opposition to start talks to agree upon a ceasefire treaty by May 14 2016.  Apparently, those condemning the attacks in Paris will be invited to these talks.

As for the event in Antalya, representatives of the civilized countries club have again declared “war on terror.” Just on the next day, U.S. under that slogan sent a large lot of weapons to the “moderate opposition” in Syria. It is not a fact that they will use those weapons against IS. It is more than probable that those weapons will be used in the continuous war against President Assad’s troops. Comments in the Western mass media say that after the terror attacks, U.S. will probably have to admit that its plans to “restrain and gradually weaken” the IS have failed. The Times has already called for NATO intervention into the conflict in Syria. On Nov 16 2015, BBC published an item saying NATO must oust Putin from Syria. However, there is still nothing about a large-scale military intervention by the ground forces of U.S. and NATO in Syria and Iraq.  It is supposed that U.S. and its allies will need to intensify bombardments at the positions of Jihadists along with the attacks by drones and operations of the security units.

The terror attack in Paris happened in the height of the all-European political crisis caused by the unmanageable inflow of migrants. The terror attack was a kind of response to the decisions made at the EU Valetta Summit on Migration.  The terror attacks have become additional reason for the advocates against Schengen in EU to demand for restoration of the frontier control on the internal borders of the EU countries and refusal from migration quotas. As early as on November 14, Polish Minister for EU Affairs Konrad Szymanski said the Paris terror attacks undermine EU’s plans to manage migration through migration quotas. Poland refused the quotas.

 In France, the National Front opposition force demanded restoration of the frontier control on France’s borders and termination of the Schengen Agreement.

In Germany, SCU leader and Prime Minister of Bavaria Horst Seehofer referred to the Paris attacks as a reason to restore the border control.  The positions of Merkel who is for regulation of migration are weakening.  After the attacks in Paris, it will be very difficult for most of the EU governments to justify the policy of open borders.

Media reports even more whip-up the ongoing anti-Schengen sentiments in the EU. German media reported that the German Police detained a citizen of Montengero with his car packed with weapons last week.  It is supposed that the criminal was driving to Paris and was tied to the organizers of the terror attacks. This showed how vulnerable is the Schengen. Germany, Sweden, Hungary and Slovenia have already restored the border control.

The intensified military actions in Syria ahead of the peace talks on Syria and the increased confusion and staggering in the EU over the migration crisis – these are direct political results of the terror attacks in Paris.

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