On the evening of 13 November 2015, a series of coordinated terrorist attacks—consisting of mass shootings, suicide bombings and hostage-taking—occurred in Paris, France, and Saint-Denis, its northern suburb. Beginning at 21:16 CET, six mass shootings and three separate suicide bombings near the Stade de France occurred. The deadliest attack was at the Bataclan theatre, where attackers took hostages and engaged in a stand-off with police which ended at 00:58 on 14 November.
At least 129 people were killed, 89 of them at the Bataclan theatre. A further 352 people were injured by the attacks, including 99 people described as being in a serious condition. In addition to the civilian casualties, eight attackers were killed and authorities continued to search for any accomplices that remained at large. Prior to the attack, France had been on high alert since the January 2015 attacks in Paris that killed 17 people, including civilians and police officers.
At 23:58, French President François Hollande announced a state of emergency, the first since the 2005 riots, and placed temporary controls on the country’s borders. The first citywide curfew in Paris since 1944 was also put in place.
On 14 November, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attacks. ISIL’s motive may have been retaliation for French involvement in the Syrian Civil War and Iraqi Civil War. Hollande said the attacks were organised from abroad “by Daesh,” a pejorative Arabic acronym for ISIL, “with internal help,” and described them as “an act of war.”
The attacks were the deadliest to occur in France since the Second World War, and the deadliest in the European Union since the Madrid train bombings in 2004. En Mémoire.
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The United States Marine Corps traces its institutional roots to the Continental Marines of the American Revolutionary War, formed by Captain Samuel Nicholas by a resolution of the Second Continental Congress on 10 November 1775, to raise two battalions of Marines. That date is regarded and celebrated as the date of the Marine Corps’ birthday. At the end of the American Revolution, both the Continental Navy and Continental Marines were disbanded in April 1783. The institution itself would not be resurrected until 11 July 1798. At that time, in preparation for the Quasi-War with France, Congress created the United States Marine Corps. Marines had been enlisted by the War Department as early as August 1797 for service in the new-build frigates authorized by the Congressional “Act to provide a Naval Armament” of 18 March 1794, which specified the numbers of Marines to be recruited for each frigate.
The Marines’ most famous action of this period occurred during the First Barbary War (1801–1805) against the Barbary pirates, when William Eaton and First Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon led eight Marines and 500 mercenaries in an effort to capture Tripoli. Though they only reached Derna, the action at Tripoli has been immortalized in the Marines’ hymn and the Mameluke Sword carried by Marine officers.
During the War of 1812, Marine naval detachments took part in the great frigate duels that characterized the war, which were the first and last engagements of the conflict. Their most significant contribution was holding the center of Gen. Andrew Jackson‘s defensive line at the Battle of New Orleans, the final major battle of the conflict. By the end of the war, most notably during the capture of HMS Cyane, Levant, and Penguin, the final engagements between British and American forces, the Marines had acquired a well-deserved reputation as expert marksmen, especially in ship-to-ship actions.
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