EU agrees to aid France in defense burden

France is invoking a never-before-used European Union “mutual-defense clause” to demand that its partners provide support for its operations against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq and other security missions in the wake of the Paris attacks.

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said all 27 of France’s EU partners have responded positively.

“Every country said: I am going to assist, I am going to help,” he says.

Speaking at an EU defense ministers’ meeting, Le Drian notes France’s military burden in northern Africa, the Central African Republic and Lebanon, and the need to provide national security while a state of emergency is in place.

He says EU partners could help “either by taking part in France’s operations in Syria or Iraq, or by easing the load or providing support for France in other operations.”

— AP

Most Popular