Thousands of people across Spain on Saturday urged their government to refrain from military action in Syria. Following a series of coordinated terror attacks Nov. 13 in Paris claimed by the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, French leadership has encouraged the Spanish military to join in an assault against ISIS in Syria. Citizens across Spain participated in demonstrations Saturday and signed a petition during the weekend to discourage their government from intervention.
A civil war has been raging in Syria since 2011 after anti-government protests turned violent. In the four years since, factions have become increasingly blurred and sectarian as the group calling itself ISIS or Daesh rose to power. Daesh wants to overthrow current Syrian President Bashar Assad while instituting Quranic law across vast swaths of the region.
The United States and international allies including France have been carrying out airstrikes on the group since 2014, hitting several thousand targets.
#NoEnNuestroNombre (#NotInOurName) organized the protests against involvement in Syria, drawing around 5,000 people in Madrid alone, the Local reported. The group also created a petition that stated solidarity with the Parisian people while condemning the French airstrikes on Syria. More than 30,000 people signed the petition, including several prominent actors and public figures.
— rui borges (@homo_viator) November 28, 2015
Spainards expressed fear that their nation’s military joining French airstrikes would expose them to attacks similar to those perpetrated in Paris. Terrorists who took part in the Paris massacres told their victims they were being punished for their government’s involvement in Syria.
Al Qaeda carried out a terror attack on Madrid in 2004 that killed 191 people, and many Spaniards have come to see that attack as retaliation for Spanish participation in the invasion in Iraq. Terrorists detonated bombs in four commuter trains within quick succession, killing nearly 200 people and wounding almost 2,000.