France’s defense minister said Tuesday that the Islamic State group must be “wiped out,” a week after Islamic extremists killed 10 journalists and two police officers in an attack on the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo and four others during a siege Friday at a kosher supermarket. The gunman in the kosher supermarket attack pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, the militant group also known as ISIS. France is part of the U.S.-led coalition targeting the group in Iraq and Syria.
While gunman Amedi Coulibaly called for France to withdraw from military operations against ISIS in a video aired after his death, the Paris attacks haven’t prompted the French people to get out of their military commitments against Islamic extremists, Reuters noted. The country’s parliament is set to vote Tuesday on whether to extend its mission in Iraq after it joined the U.S.-led coalition four months ago.
"The response is inside and outside France. Islamic State is a terrorist army with fighters from everywhere ... it is an international army that has to be wiped out and that is why we are part of the coalition," French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told Europe 1 radio, according to Reuters. He added that in January 2013, France sent troops to Mali to fight Islamic extremists and that the attackers behind the Charlie Hebdo shooting and supermarket siege were an extension of the “same threat” to France as the Mali militants.
About 10,000 French soldiers were deployed to the African country, where al Qaeda’s branch in North Africa gained a foothold. "It is the same enemy. Our forces are on the ground here because ... for our troops it's the same fight," Le Drian said.
The defense minister’s comments came a day after France deployed 10,000 troops at home to protect Jewish schools in response to the targeting of the kosher supermarket. The soldiers were expected to be at their posts by Tuesday, according to the BBC.