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Photo: Cem Oksuz/EPA

Leaders Make ISIS a Priority at G20 in Wake of Paris Attacks

Leaders at this year’s G20 summit have pledged to intensify their fight against the Islamic State (ISIS).

The meeting, currently being held in Antalya Turkey, strayed from its traditional focus on economic issues after the Paris attacks on Friday killed 129 people and wounded more than 350.

The new focus came after Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the host of the summit, urged his guests to make it a priority in their discussions.

“We are confronted with a collective terrorism activity around the world. As you know, terrorism does not recognise any religion, any race, any nation, or any country,” he said.

President Obama promised to “redouble” American efforts against the group, but offered no specifics, affirming his country’s support for France.

“We stand in solidarity with them in hunting down the perpetrators of this crime and bringing them to justice.”

These comments came just before a series of airstrikes carried out by French and American forces, targeting ISIS positions in Raqqa, the group’s self-proclaimed capital.

“The first target destroyed was used by Daesh [ISIS] as a command post, jihadist recruitment centre and arms and munitions depot. The second held a terrorist training camp,” a statement from the French Ministry of Defense said.

No civilian casualties have been reported.

Mr. Obama also met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss a coordinated approach towards Syria and ISIS. A consensus on the need for “a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political transition” was reached, marking a potential thaw in Russo-American relations.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has also expressed a willingness to work with Russia in Syria, despite differences in their attitudes towards Bashar al-Assad, Syria’s embattled Predisdent.

“The disagreement has been that we think Assad should go at once and Russia obviously has taken a different view and we have to find a settlement where Assad leaves and there is a government that brings the country together. But we must not allow the gap there is between us to be the altar on which the country of Syria is slaughtered. That is the challenge. That is going to take compromises.”

The British government has announced that it has thwarted 7 terrorist plots in the UK in the last 7 months, giving a new sense of urgency to its policy towards ISIS.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has reaffirmed his commitment to end Canadian bombing missions in the region.

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