A French soldier is fighting for his life after being stabbed by two men, who were reportedly screaming that the attack was revenge for France's bombing of Syria. The French have been part of a US-led bombing campaign against the Islamic State (Isis), after two of the terrorists targeted Paris twice last year.
The soldier, from the 8th regiment of marine parachutists, was said to be "seriously injured" and is currently in hospital after the alleged assault, which took place on 26 May at around 8.40pm. He was said to have been set upon whilst jogging alone in uniform, but not on duty, near his army base in Saint Julien du Puy, which is around 70 miles east of Toulouse.
According to French media, the 30-year-old sergeant has claimed that he was punched and slashed several times by knife-wielding attackers, suffering a serious wound to the thigh. The soldier claimed that as he was attacked, the assailants shouted that it was revenge for the airstrikes in Syria.
A number of civilians found the hurt trooper and called the emergency services, who rushed him by ambulance to hospital in a "serious condition". Police in France have now begun a manhunt for the two alleged assailants.
After the shocking Paris attacks on November 12, President Francois Hollande vowed that France would respond in "a merciless" way. Later that month, the French Assembly overwhelmingly supported President Hollande's pledge to "wage a pitiless war" by voting to increase air strikes against the IS.
Out of 529 deputies, only four voted against and 10 abstained from voting in favour of the bill to extend French air force strikes. France are believed to have the most foreign jihadis fighting in the Daesh (Isis) self-declared caliphate.
France, and President Hollande have been named as a target by IS militants, and France claim they are legally entitled to attack their own jihadists to protect French citizens. IS, the French claim, were plotting attacks on France and other nations and so were a legitimate target under Article 51 of the UN Charter.