WestVirginiaRebel Posted January 15, 2013 Share Posted January 15, 2013 NBC News: France will send about 1,000 troops and armored vehicles to Mali over the next few days with the support of U.S military and intelligence operations, upping the ante in its effort to turn back Islamic militants threatening to topple the north African nation’s government, U.S. national security officials told NBC News on Monday. French mechanized forces will join approximately 500 French troops already on the ground in the country, battling fighters from at least three Islamic militant groups, including al-Qaida in the Islamic Magreb (AQIM), according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The military escalation follows intense bombardment over the weekend by French aircraft of Islamic militant positions in the country's north, where they effectively created an al-Qaida refuge late last year. The French force will be aided by U.S. military and intelligence operations, the officials said. The U.S. will provide both transport and refueling capability for the operation as well as intelligence, including drones, the officials added. The U.S. Africa command, headquartered in Djibouti in East Africa, is coordinating the U.S. operation, said the officials. The U.S. has been providing intelligence-gathering assistance — primarily spy satellites — to the French in their assault on Islamist extremists, which began with a series of aerial attacks that began on Friday and continued through Monday. But French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told the Associated Press that the rebels fought back on Monday, overrunning the garrison town of Diabaly, about 100 miles north of Segou, the administrative capital of central Mali. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other U.S. officials told the AP early Monday that they would not rule out having American aircraft land in the West African nation as part of future efforts to lend airlift and logistical support. ________ America gets involved in a war in a former French colony...what could go wrong? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now