Salah Abdeslam says attack was simply revenge for French airstrikes in Syria and Iraq

 The key defendant in the 2015 Paris attacks trial said Wednesday that the Islamic State network which struck the city was attacking France, and that the deaths of 130 people was “nothing personal.”

Wearing all black and declining to remove his black mask, Salah Abdeslam was the last of the 14 defendants present in the custom-built courtroom to speak.

Abdeslam said the attack was revenge for French airstrikes in Syria and Iraq.

“We fought France, we attacked France, we targed the civilian population. It was nothing personal against them,” Abdeslam said. “I know my statement may be shocking, but it is not to dig the knife deeper in the wound but to be sincere towards those who are suffering immeasurable grief.”

Nine Islamic State group gunmen and suicide bombers struck within minutes of one another at several locations around Paris on Nov. 13, 2015, beginning at the national soccer stadium and ending with a bloodbath inside the Bataclan concert hall. It was the deadliest violence to strike France since World War II and among the worst terror attacks to hit the West.

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