France's U-turn over Syria


In the wake of the Paris terror attacks, President François Hollande has carried out a 180 degree U-turn on French policy towards the Syria crisis. Previously the French stance was that neither Islamic State nor current leader Bashar al-Asad was acceptable in Syria. Now the approach is an all-out focus on destroying IS. On Thursday November 26th, Hollande will meet Assad's ally, Russian leader Vladimir Putin, in Moscow to help build an alliance to destroy the organisation. But, Thomas Cantaloube argues, apart from air strikes, there seems little real strategy to restore peace to Syria and find a political solution.

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Few changes in foreign policy have been as visible as the 180 degree U-turn carried out by President François Hollande in the wake of the Paris attacks of November 13th, 2015. Though for months the French head of state and his foreign minister Laurent Fabius have been defending the line “Neither Bashar al-Assad nor Daesh” [editor's note, the Arabic acronym for Islamic State], it seems very likely that the new French position has become: “Everything against Daesh and we'll see about Assad later.”