- Politics and Social Issues
French Intervention in al-Qaeda Mali
The French military acted upon their promise to intervene in Mali if the al-Qaeda terrorists advanced towards the capital of Bamako. The al-Qaeda affiliated group, which is well funded, has already seized half of Mali, the size of Texas. They have conducted a build of forces, built bases and now have begun an advance toward the capital, some 200 miles away.
When the terrorists entered the town of Mopti and took Konna, the locals fled towards the capital. That was when France activated its military in Chad to support the Mali army comprising of 4000 men and 20 AFVs. The Mali army attacked as they had promised but little success came until the French airforce and Gazelle helicopters (from the 4th Regiment) arrived decimating the al-Qaeda attack this time. The French defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, also said that special forces had been sent before the airstrikes to Mopti, a city near Konna that the Mali government says it cannot lose. Hundreds of French troops had been involved in fighting at three locations in the center of Mali, including against an Islamist command.
Several French Mirage 2000 D jets armed with M82 missiles flew from Chad, refueling in the air, as 200 special forces loaded onto transport planes and gunships moved into position. All this was at the request of the Mali government. France has said that Mali is becoming an "African Afghanistan" unless NATO prevents it and has requested US predator drones from the USA. The British have praised the French for their resolute action to protect 6,000 citizens in Mali, and have indicated they will also send aircraft to help the French.
Just what we need, an "African Afghanistan". But, the West needs to stop it from happening.