Paris attacks: Obama offers US aid to France after 'outrageous' multiple terrorist attacks

US President Barack Obama pausing while speaking about the shooting attacks in Paris on Nov 13, 2015.
US President Barack Obama pausing while speaking about the shooting attacks in Paris on Nov 13, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS
French President Francois Hollande adressing the nation after a series of gun attacks and explosions occurred across Paris.
French President Francois Hollande adressing the nation after a series of gun attacks and explosions occurred across Paris. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (WIRES) - American President Barack Obama says the United States is prepared to provide whatever assistance France needs in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris that killed dozens of people on Friday (Nov 13) night.

"We've seen an outrageous attempt to terrorise innocent civilians," he told reporters in Washington during hastily arranged remarks. "This is an attack not just on Paris, an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share."

Latest reports said at least 40 people have died during multiple acts of violence in Paris, including shootings in a restaurant and explosions near the country's main sports stadium. Reports also said about 100 hostages have been taken.

 
 

The attacks unfolded in what appeared to be coordinated fashion across the French capital. Explosions were reported outside the city's main sports stadium as the French and German national teams met in a friendly match. Gunfire broke out near a restaurant in the 10th arrondissement, as gunmen seized hostages at the Bataclan theater.

Mr Obama was first informed about the attacks by his counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco, a White House official said on Friday.

Earlier on Friday before the attacks, Mr Obama had spoken to French President François Hollande, who was evacuated from the stadium following the explosions. The two discussed climate talks in Paris scheduled for early December, which Mr Obama plans to attend.

Mr Obama said the US would do whatever it took to "bring these terrorists to justice and to go after any terrorist networks who go after our people".

He said the US did not yet know the details of what had happened, and it appeared "live activity" may still be ongoing. He said he had not yet called Mr Hollande because the situation was still unfolding.


A map of the reported sites of attacks in Paris. PHOTO: REUTERS

The attacks came hours after the White House acknowledged the US had launched a strike targeting Mohammed Emwazi, an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) extremist known as "Jihadi John".

The terrorist with a British accent became infamous internationally from his appearance in videos showing the beheadings of Americans held by the terrorist group.

The White House earlier on Friday said the strike, in which Emwazi is presumed to have been killed, was evidence the US had made "important progress" in the fight against the Islamic State.

Mr Obama is scheduled to travel to Turkey on Saturday for the G-20 economic subject, where leaders say they will discuss efforts to combat the Islamic State.

In Paris, Mr Hollande said a state of emergency would be declared across France and national borders will be shut.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on his Twitter account that he was "deeply shocked" by the attacks and "we stand in full solidarity with the people of France".

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said, according to a tweet of the German Foreign Ministry: "We stand on the side of France!"

Mr Steinmeier was reportedly also at the soccer match between France and Germany when an explosion was heard near Stade de France, the French national stadium.