The attackers could be non-Muslim Leftists, but in light of the fact that the Islamic State has explicitly called for the stabbing of soldiers in the context of revenge for the French bombings in Syria, it seems more likely that they’re Islamic jihadists. The Islamic State issued this call in September 2014:
So O muwahhid, do not let this battle pass you by wherever you may be. You must strike the soldiers, patrons, and troops of the tawāghīt. Strike their police, security, and intelligence members, as well as their treacherous agents. Destroy their beds. Embitter their lives for them and busy them with themselves. If you can kill a disbelieving American or European — especially the spiteful and filthy French — or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be….If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him….
“French soldier knifed by men ‘angry over Syria bombings,'” The Local, May 27, 2016 (thanks to Lookmann):
With France still on heightened alert for terror attacks the latest unprovoked attack on a member of the country’s armed forces will be of huge concern to authorities.
According to a report in L’Express newspaper the soldier, who was dressed in military attire but not on duty at the time, was attacked on Thursday evening in the town of Saint-Julien-du Puy, in the Tarn area of southern France.
The victim, from the 8th parachute regiment based in Castres was punched and then knifed with a box cutter by two individuals as he was training, a source from the Gendarmes – France’s military police, told Europe1 radio.
“One of them was carrying box cutter. They attacked the soldier and spoke about the situation in the Middle East,” said the source.
The source said the two attackers reproached the soldier for “France’s bombing raids in Syria”.
The victim was taken to hospital in a serious condition, but his life is not believed to be in danger. The two attackers are still on the run.
It’s not the first time French soldiers have been attacked on the streets of France for motives apparently linked to the situation in the Middle East.
Only last month a soldier on patrol in the east of the country was sliced by an “Arabic speaking man” wielding a box cutter.
In January a driver deliberately accelerated his car, a Peugeot station wagon, as he headed towards four soldiers in a car park outside a large mosque.
Investigators found “jihadist propaganda images” on a computer at the man’s home, and the assailant reportedly said the words “Allah is great” during the attack.
There was no indication the suspect was a member of any terror organisation.
In February 2015 a knife-wielding man attacked soldiers patrolling Nice.