(Image Source: Sky News)

BY JOHN O’CONNOR

Responding to an urgent plea from government leaders in Mali, French forces have begun launching airstrikes and deploying ground forces to combat Islamist militants in the west African country. Sky News reports France has called for the United Nations to also act after …

“ … Al Qaeda linked rebels captured strategic and important town, Konna. French President Francois Hollande vowed their intervention, including airstrikes, will last as long as is necessary.” 

According to The New York Times, the operation signifies dramatic new western intervention in the region. U.S. officials have backed France’s move but say they will not consider putting U.S. troops on the ground in Mali. 

Al Jazeera reports government leaders in Mali had no choice but to reach out to their former colonial ruler France after its own army had failed to halt Islamist rebels’ advances toward the country’s capital.

“The moves highlight the apparent weakness of the Malian army which seized power in a coup last year. It has been seemingly unable to halt the rebel advance south.”  

A correspondent for CNN says French special forces were able drive the rebels back out of the key desert town of Konna just as the situation was becoming critical for Mali.

“If Mali had not felt that they were in a dire situation, that they were teetering on the brink, then they would not have pleaded to the way they did to the French government. And the French would not have responded as quickly as they did.”  

The Telegraph reports although the campaign in Mali was relatively successful for the French, another operation in Africa on Friday evening did not go as well.

France launched “A simultaneous commando operation … Friday night to try to rescue a French hostage held in Somalia by Shabab fighters … The French defence ministry said the hostage, a French soldier who had been held since 2009, was killed along with two of the French rescuers and Seventeen Somalian fighters … ”  

A correspondent for the BBC believes it was no coincidence that the two missions occurred simultaneously.

“This operation I imagine was carried about because they felt there was a chance of getting this man out and that he was very much in danger as a result of the French operation in Mali.” 

Reports of the hostage’s death have not yet been confirmed, but the French Defense Ministry says “all the indications” show he was most likely killed by his captors during the raid.

France Intervenes in Mali with Airstrikes, Ground Forces

by John O'Connor
0
Transcript
Jan 12, 2013

France Intervenes in Mali with Airstrikes, Ground Forces

 

(Image Source: Sky News)

BY JOHN O’CONNOR

Responding to an urgent plea from government leaders in Mali, French forces have begun launching airstrikes and deploying ground forces to combat Islamist militants in the west African country. Sky News reports France has called for the United Nations to also act after …

“ … Al Qaeda linked rebels captured strategic and important town, Konna. French President Francois Hollande vowed their intervention, including airstrikes, will last as long as is necessary.” 

According to The New York Times, the operation signifies dramatic new western intervention in the region. U.S. officials have backed France’s move but say they will not consider putting U.S. troops on the ground in Mali. 

Al Jazeera reports government leaders in Mali had no choice but to reach out to their former colonial ruler France after its own army had failed to halt Islamist rebels’ advances toward the country’s capital.

“The moves highlight the apparent weakness of the Malian army which seized power in a coup last year. It has been seemingly unable to halt the rebel advance south.”  

A correspondent for CNN says French special forces were able drive the rebels back out of the key desert town of Konna just as the situation was becoming critical for Mali.

“If Mali had not felt that they were in a dire situation, that they were teetering on the brink, then they would not have pleaded to the way they did to the French government. And the French would not have responded as quickly as they did.”  

The Telegraph reports although the campaign in Mali was relatively successful for the French, another operation in Africa on Friday evening did not go as well.

France launched “A simultaneous commando operation … Friday night to try to rescue a French hostage held in Somalia by Shabab fighters … The French defence ministry said the hostage, a French soldier who had been held since 2009, was killed along with two of the French rescuers and Seventeen Somalian fighters … ”  

A correspondent for the BBC believes it was no coincidence that the two missions occurred simultaneously.

“This operation I imagine was carried about because they felt there was a chance of getting this man out and that he was very much in danger as a result of the French operation in Mali.” 

Reports of the hostage’s death have not yet been confirmed, but the French Defense Ministry says “all the indications” show he was most likely killed by his captors during the raid.

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