Saturday, November 14, 2015 1:56 pm
French President Francois Hollande on Saturday declared three days of national mourning following the deadly Paris attacks.
He called the three-day observance after what he called acts of “absolute barbarity” late Friday that killed at least 128 people and wounded more than 200 others, many of them seriously.
The declaration came as US Secretary of State John Kerry, in perhaps the strongest reaction to the attacks likened them and other recent acts of terror, “a kind of medieval and modern fascism …which seeks to destroy and create chaos.”
“The one thing we could say to those people is that what they do in this is stiffen our resolve, all of us, to fight back,” Kerry said, declaring the attacks had spurred diplomats gathered in Vienna for talks on Syria to “do even harder work to … help resolve the crises that we face”.
In his own reaction, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad blamed French policy for contributing to the “spread of terrorism” that culminated in gun and bomb attacks which killed 128 people in Paris.
In a meeting with a delegation of French lawmakers in Damascus, Assad said France’s “mistaken policies… had contributed to the spread of terrorism.”
“The terrorist attacks that targeted the French capital Paris cannot be separated from what happened in the Lebanese capital Beirut lately and from what has been happening in Syria for the past five years and in other areas,” he said.