Obama, French president discuss Paris probe

Obama, French president discuss Paris probe
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President Obama and French President François Hollande spoke by phone Thursday to discuss the investigation into the Paris terror attacks and the military campaign against the Islamic State and Iraq and Syria (ISIS). 
 
The second conversation between the two leaders this week came days head of their meeting at the White House next week. 
 
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Obama and Hollande “reiterated their unwavering commitment” to defeating ISIS and noted they would discuss ways to “end the conflict in Syria,” the White House said in a statement.
 
The phone call took place after French authorities confirmed a police raid on Wednesday killed the suspected ringleader of the Paris terror attacks, Belgian national Abdelhamid Abaaoud. 
 
Hollande is reportedly urging Obama to step up the U.S. military campaign against ISIS in the wake of last Friday’s attacks in Paris, which left 129 dead and hundreds more injured. 
  
ISIS claimed responsibility for the strikes and the extremist group released a video this week threatening similar attacks in major U.S. cities. 
 
Hollande will also travel to Moscow next week to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has expressed interest in assembling a broad global coalition to fight ISIS. 
 
The Obama administration, which has already formed a 65-nation coalition against the extremist group, has been wary of including Russia.
 
The White House wants to test Putin’s commitment to a political transition in Syria that would depose President Bashar Assad, a Kremlin ally. Administration officials have repeatedly urged Russia to stop bombing U.S.-backed Syrian opposition forces fighting against Assad. 
 
“That is what is going to allow us to refocus our energies on ISIL as a unified world,” Obama told reporters in the Phiippines, using the administration's preferred acronym for the terrorist group. “The strategy that they're pursuing right now doesn't allow them to focus attention there.”