France became the first European Union country to invoke the 28-nation political bloc’s mutual-defense clause Tuesday in the wake of the Paris attacks that killed at least 129 people.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s defense minister, made the demand in Brussels. EU member nations should help the security situation “either by taking part in France’s operations in Syria or Iraq, or by easing the load or providing support for France in other operations,” he said.

The clause — article 42.7 of the Treaty on European Union — says that “if a member state is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other member states shall have toward it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power.”

The article has never been used before. The request received unanimous support.

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