In response to a series of deadly attacks in Paris that killed at least 100 people on Friday, Nov. 13, several Russian officials expressed their condolences, solidarity and promised to contribute to the investigation.
Elite police officers arrive outside the Bataclan theater in Paris, France, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Several dozen people were killed in a series of unprecedented attacks around Paris on Friday. Photo: AP
Almost one year after the terror attack at Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical newspaper, Paris has been rocked by a series of terror attacks on Friday, Nov. 13 — a shooting rampage, explosions and mass hostage taking — in several places at once: a concert hall, a stadium and a number of cafes and restaurants.
The terror attacks killed at least 100 people, with hostages taken at The Bataclan, a popular concert hall, during a concert of the American band the Eagles of Death Metal, according to French television and news services.
French President Francois Hollande, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier are reported to have attended the soccer game at Stade de France, but had been evacuated after two explosions were carried out by suicide bombers, according to global news agencies and media outlets.
An eyewitness quoted by BFM, a French TV channel, claimed that he heard rounds of automatic rifle fire and heard shouts of “Allahu akbar!” at The Bataclan.
Shortly after the attacks, Hollande announced a state of emergency in the country and closed the borders. U.S. President Barack Obama said that "this is an attack not just on Paris, not just on the people of France but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share."
At the same time, an official representative of Russia’s Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, said that Russia is expressing its deepest condolences to the people of France. She wrote in her facebook post that Moscow cannot be indifferent toward this tragedy, which she described as a “hideous" act against humanity.
— MFA Russia (@mfa_russia) November 14, 2015
The Russian embassy in Paris and the Kremlin's spokeperson Dmitry Peskov expressed solidarity with the French people and denounced these "inhuman murders." In addition, Peskov said that Russia is ready to contribute to the investigation of these terror attacks.
Meanwhile, global media have already dubbed the incident as “one of the deadliest coordinated terrorist attacks to ever strike France.”
Although there is no clarity who is behind these atrocities, the Twitter accounts of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) began using the hashtag "Paris Is Burning" to celebrate the attacks across Paris.
As a member of the Western coalition against ISIS, France is bombing ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq and also has troops fighting extremists in Africa. Some believe that this is why France has been one of the major targets for radical Islamist groups.
The Nov. 13 Paris terror attack indicates that the world has to tackle the fight against extremist Islamism with more rigor and tenacity. The problem of terrorism has already captured the attention of foreign and Russian pundits after the crash of the Russian passenger aircraft in Egypt on Oct. 31.
On Nov. 10, Russian experts on the Middle East took the floor at the Moscow-based Sakharov Center to discuss the future of ISIS and their increasing threat to the world. Most of them agreed that ISIS is a radical idea that poses a global threat and this threat is impossible to destroy with just weapons and military intervention.
“The Islamic State [ISIS] is forever,” said Moscow Carnegie Center’s Alexei Malashenko during the discussion at the Sakharov Center, pointing out that the idea of creating the global caliphate is perennial and “it will never disappear.” As long as this radicalism exists and penetrates people’s minds, it will always be a challenge for governments which do not have a clear understanding of how to fight it.
Likewise, Gregory Kosach, a scholar and professor at the Russian State University for Humanities (RSUH), who also spoke at the Sakharov Center three days before the deadly Paris attacks agrees that ISIS is an idea which is impossible to root out in the near future.