France is 'at war' with ISIS, says President Hollande

French President Francois Hollande and French National Assembly speaker Claude Bartolone observe a minute of silence at a special congress of the joint upper and lower houses of parliament (National Assembly and Senate) at the Palace of VersailleReuters

Francois Hollande has declared that France is at war.

Speaking at Versaillles to both the upper and lower houses of parliament, President Hollande said he would table a bill to extend the state of emergency declared for three months.

The last time a French President spoke to both houses in Versaille was in 2009 when Nicolas Sarkozy addressed the global financial crisis.

Declaring ISIS "cowards", Hollande said they have targeted France "because France is a country of freedom, because France is the homeland of human rights.

"France is not engaged in a war of civilisations because those assassins don't represent a civilisation.

"Our democracy has triumphed before over adversaries that were much more formidable than these cowards."

He said France is committed to "not just containing, but destroying" ISIS.

This declaration comes after ISIS attacked bars, restaurants, a concert hall and a stadium in Paris leaving 129 people dead.

"Today, our country is in mourning," he said.

"We remember the innocents who died as they were mowed down by armed gunmen in the streets of Paris and in its suburbs.

"We think of the hundreds of young people, young boys and girls who have been traumatised by the attacks. Some are still fighting for their lives."

Rather than being defeated by the attacks of Friday night, Hollande declared that "The sponsors of the attack in Paris must know that their crimes further strengthens the determination of France to fight and destroy them.

"We must do more. Syria has become the largest factory of terrorists the world has ever known."