President Obama opened two days of talks with world leaders here Sunday by vowing to help France in “hunting down the perpetrators” of the terrorist attacks in Paris, amid questions about how the United States and its allies will respond to the mass killings claimed by the Islamic State.
Shortly after arriving, Obama met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is hosting the Group of 20 Summit here, and they presented a united front in a brief appearance before reporters after a discussion that lasted more than an hour
“The skies have been darkened by the horrific attacks that took place in Paris,” Obama said. Referring to a twin-bombing attack in Ankara, Turkey, last month that killed more than 100 people, he added that “the killing of innocent people based on a twisted ideology is not just an attack on France, not just an attack on Ankara, but an attack on the civilized world. . . . We stand in solidarity with them in hunting down the perpetrators of this crime and bringing them to justice.”
The highly coordinated assaults on several locations in Paris on Friday evening have shaken the gathering of global leaders here. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, which intelligence officials said were carried out by three teams of terrorists affiliated with the extremist group. The world leaders were already planning to discuss strategies to combat the Islamist State, whose brutal campaign in Syria and Iraq has further destabilized the turbulent region.
But the attacks in the French capital that killed 129 and injured more than 350 could potentially change the calculus for French leaders and increase pressure on the Obama administration to take stronger actions to ensure that the Islamic State cannot attack Western targets beyond the battlefield in the Middle East.
SOURCE: David Nakamura
The Washington Post