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Bit of trivia, In a recent book it was claimed that Britain had only not invaded 22 countries in her history and Mali was one of them.
However, thanks to the support Britain is giving to the French we can now cross another one off the list.
30 French warplanes blast Islamist targets in Mali
French fighter jets raid training and logistics centres run by Islamist in northeastern Mali in a major operation against the extremists
AFP , Sunday 3 Feb 2013
Fighter jets, refuelling and reconnaissance planes took part in the "major" overnight operation in the Tessalit area north of Kidal, military spokesman Colonel Thierry Burkhard told AFP in Paris.
Kidal is the last bastion of radicals who occupied the desert north for months before France's surprise intervention. Tessalit, near the border with Algeria, is believed to be where seven French nationals captured by Islamists are being held.
Hollande received a rapturous welcome in Mali on Saturday as he promised that France would stay as long as necessary to continue the fight against Islamist rebels in the north.
He told Malians it was time for Africans to take the lead but that France would not abandon them.
(Reuters) - Tuareg rebels in northern Mali said on Monday they had captured two senior Islamist insurgents fleeing French air strikes toward the Algerian border and France pressed ahead with its bombing campaign against al Qaeda's Saharan desert camps.
They are almost practising ... until things get worse.
we will see.
Only one KIA and a few wounded at this point but a few suicide blast already ocured. Very few shot fired from the ground, except for special forces. They had to repulse a small counterattack in Tombouctou some days ago and "smoked them hard".
. "Direction .. le trou du cul de mon cheval...Chargez !"
- Ney at his troops before the charge -
" Debout les morts, on change de cimetière !"
- Adjudant PERICARD, 1915 -
Rebels' raid poses Mali guerrilla war threat for French
OTOH guerrilla warfare would be best left to the allied Tuareg tribes. Not much difference from the ordinary level of tribal warfare and feuding to them is it?
By David Lewis | Reuters – 4 hrs ago
GAO, Mali (Reuters) - Malian troops hunted house-to-house in Gao on Monday for Islamist insurgents whose surprise attack inside the northern town at the weekend posed a risk of France's forces becoming entangled in a messy guerrilla war in Mali.
Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.
The United States fullfill the French capacities gap in the field of intelligence. No French official comments on any assertion related to foreign intel assets. But these assets are at work, according open sources evidences : a Global Hawk HALE UAV has been required since the first week of French ops in Mali -Serval-. This unique unhabited asset would take off from Sicily where few aircrafts are based.
Piloted-ISR assets are also based near this troubled area. The US Navy P-3 fleet could be required : these grey birds are also based in Sicily. Up to five French MPA have already reached western Africa in order to bring some ISR capabilities, and French special operations units also widely contribute.
US PC-12 and U-28 have been operating in western Africa for years, according US press. This kind of flexible aircrafts could have been tasked for French duties since the first month of Serval operations, when the US acknowledged a kind of help in the intelligence gathering process.
Piloted aircrafts fly less longer than UAV, but they need less support. Even US Air Force needs more and more UAV in the Middle East zone, with growing number of CAP and... attrition.
The French troubled UAV story can explain these American growing actions around and above Mali. When France launched its first MALE program -as an interim one- on 2001, the first system had to be delivered to Armée de l'air on July, 2003 (23 months later the award of the contract). And a far more upgraded MALE generation was to reach IOC on 2009.With growing political delays, the contract for this long-awaited MALE has not been awarded yet.
Indeed PGT,surely in the top 5 of the best military modern pics,really brilliant!
Thank you to share the link with us.This war has a old fashion side,despite of all the modern stuff,a kind of "Long Range Desert Group" of the 40's..
BBC West Africa correspondent Thomas Fessy says that, if confirmed, his death will immediately raise questions over the state of several French hostages who are widely believed to have been in Abou Zeid's custody.