French President François Hollande and United States President Barack Obama at a White House meeting on Tuesday pledged to intensify their nations' military attacks on ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Hollande is in the process of meeting several world leaders to forge stronger ties and enhanced strategic cooperation against terror organisations. The discussions have come in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, which left 130 dead and more than 300 injured. ISIS had claimed responsibility for the attacks.
"The United States and France stand united, in total solidarity, to deliver justice to these terrorists," Obama said, saying there is a pressing need to defeat the organisation. Hollande said France would not send ground troops to the areas affected, but emphasised his intent to ramp up airstrikes against the militant group. Hollande will meet leaders of Britain, Russia, Germany and China this week to push for greater engagement against terror. The leaders of both also said they would target the financial networks of terror groups. A French war plane destroyed an ISIS command centre near the city of Mosul in Iraq, aided by US forces, the French defence ministry claimed on Tuesday.
Obama also asked Russia to join the global efforts against ISIS, hours after the country's President Vladimir Putin expressed outrage that Turkey had shot down an allegedly Russian plane that had crossed into its airspace. Obama said NATO-ally Turkey had a right to defend itself, and added that Russia should do more to help end the crisis in Syria. "Given Russia's military capabilities and the influence they have on the Assad regime, them cooperating would be enormously helpful in bringing about resolution of the civil war in Syria," Obama said. The United Nations and NATO both called for calm in the wake of the Turkey incident, asking countries not to let tensions escalate.