Paris terror attacks: Five possible consequences of the French nightmare

Paris attacks's repercussions are likely to be wide and long-lasting.

Paris terror attacks: Five possible consequences of the French nightmare

Paris: The Paris attacks were unprecedented in their scale in France and shocking in their method. The repercussions are likely to be wide and long-lasting.

Here are five areas to watch:

Syrian peace talks

Peace talks to end the Syrian civil war had drifted along for years before a snowballing refugee crisis in Europe this summer and Russia’s dramatic entry into the conflict in September gave them new urgency.

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Given growing evidence of a Syrian link, the attacks in Paris will hike pressure on world leaders to overcome their deep divisions and solve a problem that is a key source of Islamic extremism.

Western military involvement in Syria

Some of the Paris attackers were overheard telling hostages the attacks were in retaliation for France’s bombing of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. Paris’s air strikes were also referenced by the group in a statement claiming responsibility.

In step with increased diplomatic activity, the attacks appear likely to stiffen Western resolve to continue battlefield pressure against Islamic State -- with the risk of being sucked further into the conflict.

European refugee crisis

Already facing anti-immigration sentiment, the attacks could further complicate efforts by European governments to persuade their populations to accept this burden.

Also Read: 'You will not live in peace' - Islamic State warns France in new video

Fears have been regularly stoked by reports that IS operatives could be hiding among the 800,000 migrants who have arrived this year, mostly on the shores of Greece and Italy.

Security measures in Europe

Already accustomed to seeing heavily armed security forces guarding schools and synagogues since the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January, residents of the French capital will now face an even more muscular presence.

An extra 1,500 soldiers were mobilised to reinforce police in Paris on Saturday, while European governments held emergency talks to review their security arrangements.

Also Read: 'Paris terror attacks copycat version of 2008 Mumbai strikes'

More armed police and visible security checks appear inevitable.

‘Borderless’ Europe

The terror attacks will further strain the EU that is battling the refugee crisis, with a host of countries including Germany and Sweden re-imposing border controls while Austria, Hungary and others are building border fences.

EU President Tusk said this week that “saving Schengen is a race against time” but Friday’s attacks have already complicated efforts.

(With AFP inputs)

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