Late afternoon on November 24, four French fighter jets launched from aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in the eastern Mediterranean. Their mission was to hit ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq, in revenge attacks for the group’s assault in Paris 11 days earlier that killed 130 people.
“ISIS has France on a hook because Hollande said [the Paris attack] was an act of war,” says Dr. Edwin Bakker, Director of the Center for Terrorism and Counterterrorism of Leiden University in The Hague. “You don’t sit at home and say this is an act of war. No, you have to do something,” he adds.