‘French troops helping Malian Army in fight against Islamists’
Washington: French troops have entered Mali to help the country’s sagging Malian Army in its battle against advancing Islamist fighters.
French President Francois Hollande, who announced the surprise deployment, did not reveal how many French soldiers were on the ground or exactly what their mission is.
But officials close to the matter said Hollande promised that France’s participation in the fighting would “last as long as necessary” to guarantee that Mali’s government and army can maintain control of the former French colony in northwest Africa, the Washington Post reports.
According to the paper, Hollande’s decision to intervene dramatized European and U.S. concerns over rapid military gains in recent days by the half-dozen Islamist and Tuareg militias that have controlled the northern two-thirds of the country for more than seven months.
Ruling over 250,000 square miles, they have scattered Malian soldiers southward, imposed strict Muslim laws on the civilian population and created a vast new haven for North African terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the paper said.
France’s decision to send ground troops, even if they are restricted to small groups of specialized forces, marks a departure from Western powers’ efforts in recent years to avoid direct involvement on the ground in foreign conflicts, after scarring experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, the paper added.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- PM Modi slams Pakistan govt during his speech in Kozhikode
- Panel discussion over PM Modi's willingness to engage in direct dialogue with Pak
- Should Pakistani artists be restricted from working in India?
- Panel discussion over PM Modi's willingness to engage in direct dialogue with Pak - Part II
- PM Modi addresses public meeting in Kozhikode
- SHOCKING VIDEO: This man was trying to take selfie with python - You won't believe what happened next!
- WATCH: Ravichandran Ashwin's magic ball that bamboozled Kane Williamson on Day 3
- Uri effect? India, Afghanistan bypass Pak to set up exclusive air corridor
- Govt calls meet on Indus Water Treaty; Water Resources Ministry, MEA to brief PM Modi
- Donald Trump praises Hindu community's contributions to US